To get your new pair of eyeglasses, all you need to do is to hand over your prescription to your local optical shop. However, it wouldn’t hurt to know about what your eye doctor wrote. Here’s what certain terms on the prescription mean.
O.D., O.S. and O.U.
In the first column, you’ll find the terms O.D. and O.S., which stand for oculus sinister or left eye and oculus dextrus or right eye. Sometimes, a doctor might write OU, which means oculus uterque or both eyes.
This column indicates the focusing power of your lens and, by extension, how bad your eyesight is. As a rule of thumb, the farther the number on your prescription is from zero, the worse your eyesight is. A plus (+) sign means you’re farsighted while a minus (-) sign means you’re nearsighted.
The numbers under this column indicate the amount of lens power that was added to correct astigmatism. If nothing was written under this column, either you don’t have this condition or the degree of astigmatism requires no correction.
Astigmatism is a fairly common condition that causes blurred vision and afflicts those with an irregularly shaped cornea. The axis, which can be a number between 0 and 180 degrees, gives you an idea of the cornea’s orientation.
Other Terms in Your Prescription
Your eye doctor might also write other recommendations, such as eyeglasses with an anti-reflective coating or photochromic lenses, which is why you should inform them of all of your possible concerns and preferences beforehand.
Keep in mind that prescriptions for eyeglasses can’t be used to buy contact lenses; a prescription for contact lenses would specify the curve of the lens’ back surface as well as a specific manufacturer and brand in addition to the aforementioned terms.
Guilford Eye Center offers a wide range of professional eye care services, including eye exam services. To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained optometrists, call us at (336) 292-4516, or fill out the form here. We serve homeowners in Greensboro, NC.