Reading an Eyeglass Prescription

Review the Read a Prescription page and read information about choosing the right eyewear online in the help guides at

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Reading an Eyeglass Prescription

Considering we verify all prescriptions with the doctor's office, you don't have to be worried about understanding your eyeglass prescription. However, it may be helpful when choosing the right products for your order. You may find a number examples below that will help understanding eyeglass prescriptions.

Example 1:

Single vision prescription is shown here. There is astigmatism in the right eye only.

Example 2:

Bi-Focal / Progressive prescription is shown here. The +2.00 ADD power is for standard (lined) Bi-Focal's and the 'PAL' is only for Progressive Bi-Focal lenses. If there is no 'PAL' on the prescription, then in most cases the ADD power can be used for lined Bi-Focal's or Progressives.

Example 3:

This prescription shows a prism is required. The prism is different for each eye. According to the prescription, it would be 1.0 BU (1 diopter Base-Up) for the right eye and 2.0 BO diopters (2 diopters Base-Out) for the left eye.

Example 4:

This example shows how a distance + bi-focal/progressive prescription can be translated into a near-vision only prescription, in case the customer would like reading-only glasses using the 'Near' prescription shown here.

Example 5:

In some cases, the copy of the prescription will not have the grids laid out. If this is the case, this example shows how to read & co-relate the fields to the normalized prescription format.

Reading Tips

  • When you don't see decimal points, then it's usually because the doctor left them out. There is usually a decimal point fixed before two numbers from the right. For example, a -100 should be -1.00
  • In many cases, you will see blank fields on your prescription. This is because your prescription does not require those fields. They may be ignored and left blank during your order.
  • For a better understanding of the abbreviations and prescriptions terms used, please view our Prescription Glossary
  • Still have prescription related questions? View our Prescription FAQ
Eyeglass Prescription Examples