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How to Read My Prescription Rx

A contact lens prescription is different from a spectacle prescription and spectacle prescription cannot be used to purchase contact lenses.

The details of the contact lenses you should wear are often found on

Your prescription may include a SPH, BC, DIA, CYL, Axis and ADD. If your prescription does not include one of those it simply means that you do not require that corrective power.
Brand: Indicates the manufacturer (eg. Johnson & Johnson) and brand (eg. Acuvue) of a particular lens. Different lenses are used to treat different kinds of refractive errors.
Right Eye (OD): Always listed first.
Left Eye (OS): Always listed second.
Both Eyes (OU): If both the left and right eye has the same prescription, “OU” is used instead meaning both eyes.
Power (PWR)/ Sphere (SPH)/ Diopters (D): Is the power of the lens needed to correct your long or short-sightedness and is measured in Diopters (D). The spherical power of a lens is indicated with a plus sign (+) for hyperopia (Long-Sighted) and a minus sign (-) for myopia (Short-Sighted). The higher the number, the stronger your prescription.
Base Curve (BC): Indicates the curvature on the inside of a lens and attempts to come as close to the curve of the eye as possible to ensure the greatest fit and comfort.
Diameter (DIA): Measures the width of a lens in millimeters, from end to end.
Colour: Lenses do come in numerous tints and colours. Visibility tints are intended to help the wearer differentiate lenses from a storage case. Enhancers are tinted lenses designed to enhance an eye’s natural colour.



Cylinder (CYL): Is an oval band on a lens that enables an individual to see all ranges clearly at once and is measured in diopters, like spherical power. The cylinder power of a lens is written with a minus (-) sign.
Axis: Indicates the orientation of the astigmatism, a measurement that designates where the cylinder correction should be located. Generally, the cylinder runs up and down or side to side, at 90 degrees or 180 degrees. The symbol “x” normally precedes the axis.


Add Power: For individuals with presbyopia alone or in conjunction with another refractory error, multifocal lenses are often needed. This measurement indicates the additional amount of power needed to ensure clear vision at a close range and is always preceded by a plus (+) sign or can be recorded as High, Medium or Low. 


If you still unsure about your prescription, please Contact Us, email hello@anytimecontacts.com.au or call us 02 7257 6562  Mon - Fri 9 am - 6 pm (AEST)