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What is up with those boxes in my Eyeglass prescription?

A short comprehensive guide to understanding the meaning behind the mysterious Eyeglass Prescription

Article Below

(Disclaimer If you want us to handle everything in your Prescription follow this short Step-by-step Guide!)

Imagine this:

   You get out of  the office of your vision care professional’s office. Piece of paper on your hand with many boxes, acronyms and symbols you dont understand…

We have all been there!

   We are here to help you understand those symbols, acronyms and boxes! But I hear you ask: Why do I need to understand my prescription, I’ll just give it to my Optician and be done with it!

   The short answer is: If you want to get your prescription eyeglasses online you should have a basic understanding of the Meaning behind the prescription so as so you fill in your order correctly (although there is a simpler way HERE)

So let’s get started:

O.D. / O.S.

In any layout you may have on your hands these two will always appear.

  • O.D. : Is the Right Eye
  • O.S. : Is the Left Eye

Every other box Next to, or under (depends on the prescription type) of those two acronyms signifies a specific measurement for the respective eye!

CYL. or Cylinder

Cylinders also have pluses(+) and minuses (-) 

and signify when and the amount of the Astigmatic correction that needs to take place.

SPH. or Sphere

The sphere number ranges between Minuses(-) and Pluses (+) in increments of 0.25.

  • The Minuses signify that a Myopic correction must take place (Near-sightedness)
  • The Pluses signify that a Hypermetropic Correction must take place (Long-sightedness)

Fact: Usually when you need a larger correction to take place you can’t use thinner lenses!


The Axis number is measured in degrees and only appears when an astigmatic correction is needed.

It signifies the degree of rotation that your astigmatic correction must be placed

ADD. or Addition

Addition appears on Presbyopic, or Hypermetric Corrections (both are different varieties of long-sightedness) and signifies the amount of additional correction that must take place in closer than 40cm (15inches).

DP or PD pr Pupilary Distance

Pupilary Distance is measured in mm, and is the distance between the center of your pupils when they are parallel to each other.

Sometimes PD isn’t included in your prescripion so you can Follow this VERY easy, hassle free Guide to measure it!

Closing Remarks:

Reading your prescription In-depth can be a very hard and complicated task.

Our Recommendation is to follow our simple step-by-step Guide and let us handle it for you!