A quick guide to read eye prescription easily

Updated on June 8, 2021

Suffering from any eye problem? There is a great chance that your doctor may have given you an eye prescription. The prescription contains numbers and words related to your eyeglasses. But still, a lot of people find it difficult to understand what they mean. You will find a lot of people online asking about what this certain paper means. Your prescription is the very first step that you need to understand before you get into further treatment. So, you must know what it means.

Your eye prescription tells you whether you are suitable for eyeglasses or not. It gives a more detailed calculation of your vision. Some people first go through the eye test and then if needed the doctor to assign them their prescription. It depends a lot upon the test but you must know the information written on the prescription. Here is a quick guide to understanding it.

How to read eye prescription:

  • R and L:

Your eye prescription has two categories or sections R and L. R means your right eye and L means your left eye. So, here you might have the question that why the prescription can be different for both eyes? Well, it is highly common that they are different and sometimes need different treatments as well. It might be possible that a patient needs laser application of different variables for both eyes or lens implant for just the right eye. The outcome needed is to make sure that you get the perfect vision for both eyes.

  • SPH:

SPH is also known as Sphere gives you the result of whether you are short or long-sighted. So, what does this mean? Short-sightedness means that you can easily see things closer to you but cannot see the one that is at a distance. For example, short-sighted people cannot see traffic lights from a distance or road signs. Long-sighted people can see distant objects clearly but find it troublesome seeing closer objects. They will probably need glasses to read. Long sight is shown by a sign of + and short with -. If the value is closer to zero, the milder your prescription becomes. 

  • Axis:

Axis is related to astigmatism but only gives some indications to the surgeon of how much correction is needed for the patient to achieve a 20/20 vision.

  • CYL:

CYL is also known as Cylinder is related to Astigmatism which is a condition in which the eyeball has a shape more like a rugby ball. Some people have small astigmatism as well which is highly normal and can be cured easily. But, in some cases, people suffer from headaches, blurry vision, and strain in the eyes. In such cases, the eye prescription shows how much your eyes are affected and what degree of treatment is needed.

  • Prism:

One of the most common questions asked online is why our eye prescriptions don’t have a value on the prism. Prism does not donate anything like above as it is merely to see the muscle imbalance of your eyes. Some people have weak eye muscles as well which causes headache, strain, and sometimes blurry vision which can be cured with some simple eye exercises and any simple solutions your doctor recommends.

Your eye prescription is vital so you must ensure its proper understanding for a perfect vision score. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.