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How Do I Read My Glasses Prescription?

Ever wondered what all the letters and numbers in your glasses prescription mean? Wish you could understand and read your prescription?

Here’s a quick guide from our Midtown eye care team to help you become an expert at reading your prescription!

Your Glasses Prescription

If you take a look at your prescription, you’ll notice a few numbers listed under different labels: OS and OD, or OU.

What do these labels mean?

– OS: oculus sinister, referring to the left eye

– OD: oculus dextrus, for the right eye

– OU: oculus uterque, both eyes.

Although these Latin terms are still widely in use, some eye care offices are beginning to move toward using English-based abbreviations: RE, for the right eye and LE for the left one.

How to Read Nearsighted and Farsighted Prescriptions

When reading prescriptions that correct for nearsightedness or farsightedness:

  • The further from “0” the number is, the stronger the prescription
  • + refers to a farsighted prescription
  • – refers to a nearsighted prescription

As examples:

  • -1.00 would represent very slight nearsightedness, whereas -6.00 or more would represent more severe nearsightedness.

The same applies to farsightedness

  • +1.00 would be slight farsightednees, and +6.00 or more would be more severe farsightedness.

What About My Astigmatism Prescription?

Because astigmatism creates a more football shaped cornea, rather than a round one, there are extra items to consider. Your prescription will therefore lookquite different.

Here are the elements of an astigmatism prescription:

  • SPH: measures how nearsighted or farsighted you are.
  • C or CYL: shows how astigmatic your eyes are. The number can be negative or positive, and the bigger it is, the stronger your astigmatism.
  • Axis: This number will be between 0 and 180 degrees, and tells your optician where exactly the curvature in your cornea is, and how it’s positioned.

What Other Measurements Might Be In My Lens Prescription?

ADD: This represents the additional correction needed for presbyopia. It measures your need for bifocal or progressive lenses, and is a way of adding two different prescriptions together, to address the issues causes by presbyopia at all visual distances.

PD (Pupillary distance): Refers to the distance, in millimeters, between both pupils in the eyes. This helps our Midtown optical team figure out exactly where you’ll be looking through your lenses for different visual tasks, and helps determine frames that are right for you, as well as the best way to construct your lenses to ensure the clearest most comfortable vision.

Want to know more about how to read your eyeglass prescription. Talk to our Midtown eye doctors at James Tracey Eye Care today!


Are contact lens prescriptions the same as glasses prescriptions?

No. Glasses and contact lens prescriptions are completely different. This is because glasses are placed slightly in front of the eye, while contacts rest on the eye itself. This creates a difference in how they reflect light into the eye and how they need to be constructed to properly correct your vision.

What glasses prescription represents legal blindness?

Legal blindness is defined by a person either having less than 20 degrees of vision as determined in a visual field test, or visual acuity of 20/200. This means that this person can only see clearly from 20 feet what a person with 20/20 vision could see clearly from 200 feet. This is the same as a prescription of -2.5.

AI-Enhanced Eyeglass Frames and Lenses

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has remade the way we experience life and has redefined the limits of what we can accomplish. But did you know that this includes your eyeglasses, as well? Recent years have seen incredible innovations in frame design and how certain lenses can enhance your vision and the way you interact with the world around you. Our and optical at is proud to present 5 designer frames and lenses for the tech-savvy consumer:

Amazon Echo Frames

These stylish, lightweight frames are made for comfortable all-day wear, and can be fit for non-prescription and prescription lenses. They fully integrate with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant, so that you can listen to your favorite podcasts, make phone calls, control your smart home devices, set important reminders and more.

IrisVision Live and Inspire

IrisVision’s Live and Inspire low vision assistance devices use a smartphone to help those with low vision enhance their ability to live independently. They are designed with mobility, independence and ease-of-use in mind.

Bolle Prime

These glasses use the first-ever eyeglass lens produced by AI, the revolutionary new Volt+ polarized and high contrast lenses. This technology offers high-quality polarization, increased depth perception, enhanced color vision by up to 30% and 100% UV protection.

Flying Eyes Optics

These amazing frames were designed with the assistance of AI to make them lightweight and perfect for aviation enthusiasts everywhere. They are made of a material called resilamide, which allows frames to be made ultra-thin and durable. This makes them comfortable to wear for long periods of time under headsets and flight helmets.

Rudy Project Activewear Sunglasses

These activewear sunglasses help enhance your vision for all your sports and outdoor activities. Frames and lenses from Rudy project offer a wide range of vision, a superior fit, various lens tints depending on your specific needs, and outstanding comfort.

Want to learn more about eyeglass frames and lenses that take advantage of advances in AI? Contact our optical staff at today!

At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 646-916-4588 or book an appointment online to see one of our Midtown eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

What You Should Know About Night Blindness

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

Macular Degeneration – What Is It?




How do Amazon Echo frames work?

Amazon Echo frames function as a smart accessory with a built-in pair of Bluetooth headphones. They pair with both iOS or Android phones, connecting with the Alexa app via microphone and speaker. This allows you to take advantage of Amazon’s smart assistant features. They can also connect to Siri and Google Assistant, and can be used as headphones to listen to music and podcasts.

What makes Rudy Project Activewear so durable?

Rudy Project sunglasses are made with a super-lightweight, ultra-durable material called graphene. This material is lighter than carbon and stiffer than diamond. It is naturally resistant to scratches. Rubber bumpers on the underside of the frames protect both you and the frames from damage in case of falls or hard blows.

How to Choose Eyeglass Frames For Your Features

You’re ready for new glasses. But how do you know which frames will best suit your features?

Some people take pictures of all the pairs they try on and send them to their friends, family or coworkers for feedback. But that’s time consuming and not particularly efficient.

Here’s a better way! Learn what frame features to look to suit the size and shape of your face, as well as your skin tone.

Below are a handful of tips that are sure to help select your frame.

What’s Your Face Shape?

The secret to finding your perfect frames is choosing a pair that best suits your face shape.

You see, our features vaguely resemble particular geometric shapes.

For example:

  • Heart-shaped faces have a narrow chin, a wide forehead and cheeks, and are sometimes topped off with a widow’s peak hairline
  • Round faces have full cheeks, a more rounded hairline and chin, and are similar in width and length
  • Oval faces are similar to round faces, except longer and thinner
  • Square faces have a strong jawline and forehead, and are roughly equal in width and length

So a pair of rectangular frames on a square face will further emphasize the squareness, but rounder glasses can help soften those angles. Rectangular frames are best suited for an oval or round face.

If you don’t already know your face shape, just look in the mirror, close one eye, and draw the outline of your face with a washable marker. The end result should resemble one of the above-mentioned shapes.

Size and Color Matter

Consider the size and color of the frames, along with their shape. They should be the right size for your face—not too big and not too small. This is true for both adults and children.

If you have a cool skin tone, colors to consider for your frames are blue, pink, blue-grey, silver, black, or rose-brown.

If you have warmer skin tones, frame colors like warm blue, off-white, fire-engine red, orange, copper, peach, copper or gold tend to look better.

Looking for Your Ideal Frames? We Can Help!

Want to look great and see clearly? Pop on over and select from a wide range of high-quality designer frames and independent eyewear that match your personal style.

If you need any help, our dedicated optician will happily help you find something that will make you feel confident as ever. Our inclusive selection of sunglasses, eyeglasses, reading glasses, and contact lenses guarantee that you’ll achieve clear and comfortable vision in style.

Contact or visit James Tracey Eye Care in Midtown so we can start looking for the perfect frames for you.

At James Tracey Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 646-916-4588 or book an appointment online to see one of our Midtown eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

8 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at the Office

Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

9 Signs Your Child Might Need Glasses



Frequntly Asked Questions with James Sinoway O.D.

Q: How do I choose glasses that my child will actually wear?

  • A: When choosing frames for your child, the most important factor is to let them help in the selection process. When children are allowed to choose their glasses frames they will be much more likely to wear them.

Q: How often should I get a new pair of glasses?

  • A: Optometrists recommend updating to new glasses every one to three years as needed.
    If your prescription has changed, you should definitely get a new pair to prevent eye strain and increase comfort.