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Eyeglasses | Optical Centre Smartbuyglasses ZA

How to Find Out Your Prescription

What is a Glasses Prescription?

A glasses prescription is an order written by an eye specialist (like an optometrist or ophthalmologist) that specifies the value of all variables necessary to construct or dispense corrective lenses for a patient. If you haven’t had an eye test before, the only reliable way to find out your prescription for the first time is an examination. If this indicates that corrective lenses are appropriate, the eye specialist will give you an eyewear prescription.


How to Read My Glasses Prescription

Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism or amblyopia, your prescription is unique and made just for your eyes.

The first terms you should see on your prescription are OD and OS.

These are initialisms for the Latin terms oculus dexter and oculus sinister, which mean right eye and left eye respectively.

If your OD or OS prescription has a negative power (e.g. -4.00), this means you are farsighted - you can see objects far away but not close up. 

If your OD or OS prescription has a positive power (e.g. +4.00), this means you are nearsighted - you can see objects close up but not far away.


The larger the number, the stronger the prescription power. Some people have identical OD and OS powers while other people can have different powers for each eye. These eye conditions are extremely common.


Other terms you may see on your glasses prescription may include the following: 


Sphere (SPH) 

This number indicates the lens power prescribed to correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness. This is measured in diopters (D).


Cylinder (CYL)

This number indicates the amount of lens power for astigmatism. If nothing is listed in this column, it means you either have no astigmatism or that the level of your astigmatism is low enough that you do not need a corrective lens to fix it.



This number describes the lens meridian that contains no cylinder power to correct your astigmatism. The axis is defined with a number from 1-180, with 90 corresponding to the vertical meridian and 180 corresponding to the horizontal meridian. 



This number is the added magnifying power applied to the bottom part of multifocal lenses to correct presbyopia. The number that appears in this section is always positive, even if it is not preceded by a plus sign. ADD will generally range from +0.75 to +3.00 D and it will be the same power for both eyes.

Pupillary Distance (PD)

PD meaning: This number measures the distance in between your 2 pupils in millimeters.

What to Do After You’ve Found Your Prescription

Once you know your prescription, there’s only one thing left to do to improve your vision: get yourself a pair of high-quality glasses. At SmartBuyGlasses, we’ve got thousands of pairs of prescription glasses on sale, including affordable eyewear and designer frames. With big names like Gucci, Ray-Ban and Tom Ford, there’s no better place to browse the brands you love. 

We also stock affordable prescription glasses from brands like Arise Collective and SmartBuy Collection - these two are some of our favorites; no other brands combine high style with low prices in the same way.


Prescription Lenses

Once you’ve found a pair of frames that you love, it’s time to think about applying that prescription to a pair of high-quality lenses. At SmartBuyGlasses, we stock some incredible lens technologies, pioneered by manufacturers like Arise. Their HD Prescription Lenses offer unrivalled adaptability and function for amazing prices.

The key features of Arise HD Prescription Lenses are as follows:


  1. UV 400: optimised protection for both UVA and UVB.

  2. Anti-Reflective Coating: reduces glare and lets more light through; perfect for night driving.

  3. Scratch Resistant Coating: protects against scratches and wear & tear.

  4. Impact X: impact-resistant lenses for optimal eye protection.

  5. Aspheric Lenses: thinner, flatter and lighter than conventional spherical lenses.

  6. Superhydrophobic Coating: Water-repellent coating with a lotus-like ‘roll off’ effect.


Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Alongside Arise HD Prescription Lenses, you can also protect your eyes from harmful short-wavelength digitally-emitted blue light with pioneering blue light blocking lens technology from zFORT®


You can protect your eyes from blue light with a simple pair of blue light glasses. Slipping on a pair of blue light blocking glasses lets you preserve your normal melatonin levels and ensure that you regain all the benefits of sleep. For more information on the benefits of blue light glasses, or a wide range of blue light blocking models, check out SmartBuyGlasses.


Try On Glasses Online

There’s never been a better time to see how your new prescription glasses will look before they’ve even arrived. At SmartBuyGlasses, you can take advantage of our revolutionary Virtual Try-On technology to model a great pair of glasses without the hassle of ordering a few pairs, sending them back, et cetera. It’s 2020’s answer to a time-consuming trip to an eyewear store - using Virtual Try-On, you’ll save time and money deciding what suits you best. It’s the perfect virtual try-before-you-buy!

If you’ve found this guide to How to Find Out Your Prescription helpful or interesting, don’t forget to browse the rest of our articles on the Optical Center. It’s also worth a visit to our main page to make the most of your prescription and pick up a pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses.

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