It's the end of the year and you are running out of time to use your benefits! Did you know your vision plan and Flex Spending Accounts (FSA) may reset at the first of the year? Did you know that you could use FSA and HSA (Health Savings Accounts) for eye exams AND materials like glasses, contacts, and sunglasses? Well, there is no better time than the present to take advantage of your benefits: Now through December 31st, BUY ONE complete set of frame and lenses, GET ONE complete set of frame and lens FREE! Some exclusions apply and sales may not be combined with insurance, however, we have specials for patients using insurance as well. Call our office today to schedule your eye exam!

How To Read Your Eyeglass Prescription

Eyeglass prescription

Understanding Your Eyeglass Prescription

Have you ever tried to decipher your eyeglass prescription? Although the numbers and abbreviations written on the script may be meaningless to you, your prescription provides valuable information for the type of corrective lenses you'll need.

What O.D. and O.S Mean

No one may speak Latin anymore, but the language is still used in the medical field. In fact, the first things you'll notice on your prescription are abbreviations for two Latin terms in the column labeled "Rx." Oculus dexter (O.D.) translates to "right eye," while oculus sinister means "left eye." Your optometrist uses these terms to note the prescription for each eye. It's not unusual to have a slightly different prescription in each eye.

Other Measurements and Abbreviations

Eyeglass prescriptions also contain these measurements and abbreviations:

  • Sphere. This number determines the lens power needed to provide clear vision for each eye. A minus sign before the number indicates that you are nearsighted, while a plus sign means that you're farsighted. Lens power is measured in diopters. The higher the number, the stronger the prescription. For example, "-5.00" written under sphere means that you are very nearsighted and need a five diopter correction. You may also see diopters expressed in decimals, such as 1.25 or 4.75.
  • Cylinder. The cylinder column is only used if you have a common eye condition called astigmatism. The condition occurs if your cornea isn't perfectly round and is shaped like a football instead. The cornea is the clear tissue covering your iris and pupil. An irregularly shaped cornea affects the way light rays reach your retina, distorting your vision. Changing the power in one part of your eyeglass lens will help you see clearly if you have astigmatism. Your eye doctor will note a measurement in diopters in this column.
  • Axis. The axis measurement gives information on where to alter the power in the lens to correct astigmatism. Axis numbers range from 0 to 180 degrees.
  • ADD. ADD is short for addition. Your eye doctor will use this category to note the additional lens power needed if you wear bifocal, trifocal or progressive lenses. The lenses are often used to improve vision in people who have presbyopia, an age-related vision change that affects the ability to see near objects clearly. Bifocals, trifocals, and progressive lenses are separated into zones that contain separate lens powers, which make it easy to view both far and near objects.
  • Prism. The prism column will be blank for many people. Prism lenses may be prescribed if you have double vision caused by conditions that affect the eye muscles, nerves or brain. The lenses bend the light that enters the eye, ensuring that it's focused on your retinas correctly. If you need this type of lens, the prescription will note the amount of prismatic power needed in diopters.
  • Pupillary Distance. You may also see pupillary distance (PD) included somewhere on your eyeglass prescription. PD is the distance between the centers of your pupils in both eyes. It's used to ensure that your prescription is correctly centered in your eyeglass lenses.

Has it been a while since you've seen the optometrist? Yearly visits are essential for clear vision and good visual health. Contact us if you're ready to schedule your checkup.

Sources:

All About Vision: How to Read Your Eyeglass Prescription, 7/19

WebMD: How to Read Your Eyeglass Prescription

American Optometric Association: Astigmatism

National Eye Institute: Your Eyes Are the Windows to Your Health

Contact us to request an appointment today.

BOGO FREE Pair with purchase one complete pair, Patients with Insurance receive 30% off Second pair

Testimonials

  • While vacationing in Orange Beach, I had something that jabbed me in the eye and punctured my cornea. I called the Orange Beach office and they got me in quickly. The staff was so friendly and helpful. Dr. Leonard explained things very well and put me at ease. Hats off...

    - Jason N. - Google Review
  • I have been going to Dr. Leonard for over 20 years. She always gives me the best honest answers &/or suggestions. I trust her to the fullest. I now take my 3 year old daughter to Dr. Leonard as well. My eye insurance isn’t accepted there anymore but I don’t...

    - Dae P. - Google Review
  • Everyone has such a warm personality that it makes you feel like a friend! Excellent service....

    - Rosaly T. - Google Review
  • I am here @ Orange beach for vacation & one of my contacts washed away in the ocean. My family and I are from Texas, so I called the very next day. I literally had a pair of contacts waiting on me in 5 minutes to be picked up. Ms....

    - Lauren G. - Google Review
  • I was very impressed by the Dr. and staff at Coastal Family Eyecare. From the moment I walked through the door I was met with professional, caring and very knowledgeable people. I highly recommend them and will be returning for all my future vision needs....

    - Maureen M. - Google Review

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Orange Beach Office

Monday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday

CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Friday

CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Saturday

Closed

Sunday

Closed

Pensacola Office

Monday

Closed

Tuesday

Closed

Wednesday

Closed

Thursday

Closed

Friday

Closed

Saturday

Closed

Sunday

Closed

Orange Beach Office

Monday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday
CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Friday
CLOSED FOR THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Pensacola Office

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
Closed
Wednesday
Closed
Thursday
Closed
Friday
Closed
Saturday
Closed
Sunday
Closed

Locations

Find us on the map