If you are a first-time lens wearer, or even someone who has had glasses for years, you may have taken a look at your new prescription for eyeglasses and thought to yourself, “What is this even saying?” Let your friendly Cincinnati eye doctor help walk you through some of the basics you’ll probably find on that prescription pad after your new check-up.
First, you will see numbers under headings called OS (short of oculus sinister), which refers to the left eye, and OD (oculus dextrus), which refers to the right. Some people may additionally see the heading OU, which would involve both eyes. The easiest way to decipher the numbers is to remember that the general rule of thumb is that zero is the baseline, and the further away your numbers are from that, the worse your eyesight.
Secondly, you will have either plus or minus notations by each of these numbers. A plus sign means you are farsighted, while a minus sign means you are nearsighted. The sign and number you have listed on your prescription denotes the amount of correction or focusing power, your eye needs in order to see clearly.
For people with astigmatism, prescriptions will show three numbers instead of just two. Typically, this will be shown in the formula S x C x Axis. The S, for “spherical” is the degree of near- or far-sightedness as it would be shown in any prescription. The C, for “cylinder” measures the degree of your astigmatism and it can be either positive or negative. The larger the number, the bigger your astigmatism is. The Axis will tell you the orientation of the astigmatism, from 0 to 180 degrees.
If you ever have any confusion, remember that your doctor is there to help clarify any questions you may have and to ensure you get the best treatment. Regular visits are important to make sure you have the most updated prescription, as they often change and many people do not update their eyeglasses accordingly!
If your vision has been affected or if you require eye care visit Cincinnati eye doctor, Charles Breen, ophthalmologist, at 7370 Turfway Rd. 3rd Floor, St. Elizabeth Medical Office Building, Florence, KY 41042.