How To Read Your Eye Power Prescription


Eye Power

The numbers you see written in your eye prescription under some abbreviations like OD, OS, and SPH determine your eye power. This number ranges from (+/-) 0 to 20. 0 means you don’t need a lens and your eyesight is normal, but if the numbers move away from zero, you’ll need artificial eye lenses/glasses to see perfectly.

When you look at your eye power prescription you’ll see abbreviations such as OS (oculus sinister) i.e. your left eye, OD (oculus dextrus) i.e. your right eye, and OU (oculus uterque) which means both the eyes. These are Latin abbreviations still used for the prescription. Some other elements like axis, astigmatism, and prism are also mentioned in the description. Numbers written under these abbreviations represent your eye power. Diopter is the unit of eyesight abbreviated as D. For example +1.5 D means you have hypermetropia with 1.5 eye power. -2.5 D represents myopia with 2.5 eye power.

Terms Used In Eye Power Description 


Oculus sinister denotes the left eye. Some doctors have started using LT( left eye for the description)


oculus dextrus which represents the right eye also prescribed as RT.

SPH (sphere)

Sph the term in a prescription means the corrective for shortsightedness and longsightedness is spherical. Typical SPH no. ranges from 0 to +/-20. The farther the number is from 0, the thicker the lens you need.


short form of a cylinder. The number written under CYL indicates astigmatism (a condition under which your eyes are irregularly shaped)


Axis explains the degree of astigmatism, which exceeds from 0 to 180. If you don’t have astigmatism then CYL and AX will be zero. AX and CYL go hand in hand, both are used to measure your astigmatism.


A vision test is done to check visual acuity. If your prescription says 6/6 vision, your vision is normal, and you see what an average eye at 6 meters can see. However, 6/6 vision doesn’t mean your vision is perfect. The best way to know your case is to ask your ophthalmologist.


The prism column is usually absent or blank in most of the prescriptions. Unless your eye muscles or nerves were affected in a way that caused double vision. The lens prescribed for prism ensures that light entering your eyes is focused on the retina correctly.


The base is the direction applied to one or both of your eyes. Up, down, in, or out. base and prism work together.

To make it easier to understand here’s an example of prescription-

eye power prescription


Eye Conditions That Require Eyeglasses

Our eyes work like a camera that captures light from the object and forms an image. Light enters through the cornea outermost of our eyes and passes onto the retina which is the innermost layer of the eyes. When the light hits the retina, millions of photoreceptors send the signals to the brain and form and understand an image. Most of the eye power problems are because of where the light is hitting the retina.

Farsighted- Plus(+) sign before the numbers in your prescription indicates farsightedness or hypermetropia/ hyperopia means that person can see far objects clearly but finds nearby objects blurry and hazy.




Nearsighted- (-) minus sign indicates near/shortsightedness or myopia means the person can see nearby objects clearly but have a problem watching objects farther away. The numbers represent the diopter unit.



Astigmatism- In a healthy eye, the cornea or lens of the eyes is usually spherical shaped, but in the case of astigmatism, it is oval-shaped that doesn’t pass light evenly on the retina causing blurred vision. The orientation of astigmatism could vary from 0 to 180 degrees.

Presbyopia- Presbyopia is a usual eye disease that develops during aging (after 40). Our eye lens doesn’t remain flexible in our old age; as a result, the lens is unable to focus on objects right away. Presbyopia can be treated with bifocal lenses.



Symptoms You Need An Eye Power Corrective

A perfect vision is not promised forever, you may need corrective for normal eyesight, also if you already have glasses on, the number of your eye power keeps changing; not always in a negative way. It’s nothing to be afraid of but you should get your eyes checked every year to keep them healthy. If you have any of these, visit an ophthalmologist

  • Frequent Headaches– If you suffer from headaches often especially right after watching TV or reading, it is possible you need an eye corrective, although there could be other factors causing headaches, eye issues are prominent.
  • Blurry vision– for example, if you’re trying to look at a poster far away and can’t see the details or if you find it difficult to read a book up close. You need a pair of eyeglasses.
  • Halo ring on street light/ vehicles– During traveling at night if you find lines and halo ring around backlights of vehicles or even traffic lights you’re a possible eye patient of astigmatism.
  • Dizziness– If your eyes feel sore, tired, and can’t concentrate on seeing things in aligning your eye power may not be normal. Although allergy, pollution can make your eyes dizzy too. Too much sunlight can harm your eyes too, therefore it’s best to protect them with sunglasses.

The Treatments To Improve Eye Power 

Taking care of your eyes is like taking care of the rest of your body. And does not require much effort, making healthy choices every day like eating healthy, sleeping on time, exercising a bit can do wonders for your eyes and body as well. Eye diseases like nearsightedness and farsightedness can be cured naturally, but usually, eye diseases are not curable without surgery. If you want to avoid artificial lenses and glasses take care of your eyes from the very beginning. Here are some methods that can help-

Eat vitamin-A-rich food

 Eating carrots, papaya, broccoli, green vegetables daily provides vitamin A to your eye cells that keep your eye power neutral.

Take a screen break

 If you have a job in which you constantly have to stare at the computer screen then make the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break after every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, and look at any object at least 20 cm far away. The rule will help your eyes from being sore and easily tired.

Sleep on time

You must have seen people with eye power don’t have a healthy sleep cycle. An irregular sleep cycle affects your whole body including your brain resulting in eye problems.

Eye power glasses/contact lenses

 This is the easiest and effective way to treat bad eye power, wearing contact lenses could be a hassle though but glasses are super safe and convenient. There are three kinds of lenses- concave (used for myopia), convex (used for hypermetropia), bifocal lens used if the person has both nearsighted and farsightedness.


 Improving your eyesight naturally will only work if you constantly keep a look at your lifestyle and it still can’t be cured sometimes, whereas surgery can cure your eye power forever. However, you still need to take few precautions before and after your surgery.

The best way to treat your eyes is to visit your eye care professional and get your eyes checked regularly. He will be able to assess the best method of treatment for your eye ailment. Visit our website Eyemantra. To book an appointment call +91-9711115191 Or mail us at [email protected].Our other services include Retina Surgery, Specs Removal, Cataract Surgery, and many more.
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