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How to read your child's prescription

by Lana Arnold on March 07, 2020

Whether it is your first time helping your child with prescription glasses or something you’ve done before, it is important to have an understanding of the numbers and characters on their prescription. 
 
The best place to start are the two horizontal rows of your child’s prescription, which are represented as Latin abbreviations;
 
OD: Right Eye
OS: Left Eye
 
The next step is understanding the vertical columns;
 
SPH: Sphere
This describes the degree of near-sightedness or far-sightedness. Generally speaking, the further away from zero, the more vision correction your child will need to improve their eyesight.
 
-  represents myopia, or near-sightedness
+ represents hyperopia, or far-sightedness
 
CYL: Cylinder
This is a measure of astigmatism. This simply means your child has less of a perfectly round eye and it can cause blurry vision at any distance. If you see a ‘+’ or ‘-’ in the CYL value, it is nothing to worry about, it simply means we need to perform a calculation for you that affects the SPH and AXIS.


AXIS
If you have a CYL, then you will have an AXIS. This indicates the orientation of astigmatism and is measured in degrees from 1 to 180.
 
It is important to note that if there is no number in the column then that means that no correction is required. Also, other important details that may be listed on your child’s prescription are ADD, PRISM and PD (See below “Measuring your child’s PD”). We are able to assist with some ADD and PRISM requirements, however please contact us at help@augieeyewear.com.au for us to assist you further with any recommendations.