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An eyeglass prescription is an order written by an eyewear prescriber, like an optometrist or ophthalmologist, that specifies the value of all parameters needed to construct corrective lenses for a patient. In other words, it’s the specs you need to get yourself some proper lenses.

We always do separate measurements for each eye, right and left. We measure sphere, the cylinder and the axis.

  • Sphere: This indicates if the eye is myopic or hyperopic.

  • The Cylinder and the Axis: These are the parameters for astigmatism.

Some optical prescriptions have an extra parameter called Add or Near Add. This is usually for patients over 40, but can sometimes be prescribed at a younger age. The Near Add is additional Sphere power to provide extra help with close range focus.

Good to know that contact lenses prescriptions are not suitable when ordering new glasses, since they are not the same measurements.

Right. But what is Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism?

Myopia, is mostly known as nearsightedness. People with myopia can typically see well enough to read a book and look at a computer screen, but struggle to see objects from far away. This condition occurs when the eye grows too long from front to back, so instead of your eye lens focusing images on the retina (the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye), it focuses on the image in front of the retina. Sometimes, undiagnosed myopia can cause headaches and eyestrain.

Hyperopia, mostly known as farsightedness. This is a common type of refractive error, when distant objects can be seen more clearly than objects that are close by. However, people can experience hyperopia in different ways — you might not even notice any obvious problems with your vision, especially when you’re young. For those with significant hyperopia, objects can look blurry at any distance, near or far.

Astigmatism is a common condition that causes blurred vision. It occurs when the cornea (the clear layer that forms the front of the eye) is irregularly shaped, or sometimes due to the curvature of the lens inside your eye.