How Can You Read Your Eye Glass Prescription

If you have just gone through an eye test, there are chances of your doctor giving you a prescription with numbers and abbreviated terms in it. You might find it difficult to understand what does it indicate? Besides, it might also not be possible for you to call your doctor every now and then.

Houston is the most populous city in the United States. Memorial eye has been providing an exemplary service for the past decade in the city of Houston. If you talk about eye doctors Houston, you will find a way lot of options at your disposal.

This article will help you understand the terms and abbreviated information written in a prescription.

What OD and OS means?

This is the most basic step to understand your prescribed eye glasses. They are defined as ocular Dexter and ocular sinister.

Your eye glasses prescription may also have an option labelled as, ‘OU.’ This is the Latin term used for oculus uterque that means, ‘both eyes.’

This is the traditional way of writing a prescription. Whereas these days, many doctors also prefer to use terms like left eye and right eye to write a prescription making it easier for people to understand.

It is important to note that the right eye of yours is the left eye for the doctor. Hence, you will have the information of your right eye before the left. It can also be helpful, if you can talk to your doctor and confirm before use.


Sphere usually identifies the power of the lens which is prescribed to correct near-sightedness or far-sightedness. It is measured in diopters.

The term ‘sphere’ is used because near or far sightedness is spherical in shape.


Cylinder is the term used for denoting the amount of power for astigmatism. If your prescription appears empty in this column you can say your astigmatism is either zero or very less that there is no need of lenses to correct it.


Axis denotes the meridian of the lens with no cylindrical power to correct astigmatism. The axis is defined between the numbers 1 and 180. Any prescription containing cylindrical value will also have an axis value.


This is added in multifocal lenses at the bottom to correct presbyopia. Generally, it ranges from +0.75 to +3.00 and with the same power for both the eyes.


This is the total power of prism which is measured in prism diopters.

News Reporter