I've just had the following prescription made for reading glasses
SPH CYL AXIS
R +0.25 -0.50 170
L + 0.50 -0.50 175
Can I pick something up off the shelf at 1.25 or do I need this specific prescription filled?
Qualified optometrist Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom answers this question.
You have a small correction for astigmatism (your eye is slightly rugby ball rather than football shaped) and there is a slight difference between the two eyes. You therefore cannot get the exact prescription off the shelf as they are made without correction for astigmatism and are the same in each eye. However, +1.25 would be about the closest you will get and will certainly improve your vision, but your vision may not be quite as clear or comfortable than the exact prescription.
But please note below the advise written previously:
For most people ready made reading glasses are not as good as custom-made glasses, but they may be suitable as a spare or extra pair. Because they are made as 'one size fits all' the frame may not fit you and you may not be looking through the center of the lenses, which can cause eyestrain and headaches. Both lenses are also made the same, and therefore not ideal if one eye is different from the other. If you have astigmatism they do not correct it, making them less accurate. They are however, unlikely to do you any harm. It is still important to have regular eye examinations to make sure your eyes are healthy, particularly when you are over the age of 40.