Take a close look at your eyeglass prescription, and you’ll see numbers and symbols. You’ll find these notations in prescriptions worldwide because standardizing them makes them easy to interpret. Let’s help you make sense of them.
Latin abbreviations often appear in eyeglass prescriptions and other medical prescriptions, but they’re becoming less common. You might see one or more of the following notations on your prescription.
- OD: -2.00 – 0.50 x 180
- OS: +1.00 DS
- ADD: +1.75 OU
OD (oculus dexter) indicates the right eye while OS (oculus sinister) indicates the left eye. OU (oculi uterque) indicates both eyes.
To show you how to interpret the numbers that appear on your prescription, let’s look at a prescription that reads OD; – 2.00; – 0.50; × 180; +1.75.
- The number – 2.00 that appears after the abbreviation OD is the prescription “sphere.” It indicates the patient’s nearsightedness or farsightedness. A minus sign (-) indicates a negative-powered lens that corrects nearsightedness, while a positive sign (+) indicates a positive-powered lens that corrects farsightedness.
- The number – 0.50, which appears after the sphere, represents the prescription’s “cylinder.” It measures the eye’s astigmatism.
- Denoted as × 180 (or “axis 180”), the perception's axis indicates the angle (in degrees) that represents the location of the most positive meridian in an eye that has astigmatism when written in minus cylinder form.
- ADD Number. Finally, younger patients might see an ADD Number (e.g., +1.75) on their prescription. It indicates how much the prescription distance needs to be adjusted to facilitate near-point activities like reading.
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