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  • Prescription copies that are given to you by the optician / Optometrist or eye doctor follow a certain format


    • Right and Left:
      On all prescription copies there is a section for the Right eye and a section for the Left eye (marked just R & L sometimes).
    • Distance and Near:
      Distance and Near sections (occasionally intermediate section).

    The following sections are completed by the optician:

    • Sph, Cyl, Axis, Prism, Base, Near

    Sph and cyl sections have a number which represents the power in 0.25 steps, EG, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, 1.00, 1.25 and so on, with a ‘+' or '-' sign. (If zero strength is required then the relevant section is left blank or contains PLN or µ).

    Axis section has a number if required, ranging from 1 to 180. No + or – notations.

    Prism section has a number, and the base section has up/down/out/in (which is rarely required).

    Near part is usually referred to as the "ADD" or "Addition". This value is again seen in 0.25 steps, E.G: 0.25, 0.59,0.75 and so on. The reading add is always accompanied with a ‘+’ sign. The reading addition / Add is combined to your Distance prescription, by the lab technician, to ascertain your Reading Prescription or for Bifocals.

    Some optometrists will write out your complete near prescription (with sph & cyl/axis) underneath your complete distance prescription. This gives the same information as the above.

    Intermediate Part is not always specified, however, if it is required it comes in the form of an "ADD" or "Addition". This is the Addition combined to your Distance prescription to ascertain your Intermediate Prescription (not always prescribed by the optician).

    Some opticians will write out your complete intermediate prescription (with sph & cyl/axis) underneath your complete distance prescription. This gives the same information as the above.


    Important Notes:

    • Enter + and – signs accurately when typing your prescription online.
    • On your prescription copy, the + or – signs can be written to the left of the numerical value or above the numerical value. This depends on the Optician. For example I write it above the numerical value (see example above).
    • Depending on the Optometrist, sometimes you will find the abbreviations “DS” after a numerical value. This is the unit in which the prescription strength is measured (DS = dioptres of sphere).
    • Prescription copies from outside the U.K will sometimes have a different layout. However, the information is the same. For example: +1.50 (-1.25) x 90. The first value is the SPH, the second value in brackets is the CYL, and the third is the AXIS.
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