Ask the Optician

Understanding my prescription


I am trying to understand my prescription what does near-ADD Inter ADD, BVD mean? Also H-Dist V-Dist H-Near V-Near (I have no numbers after these!). I am SPH -0.25 CYL- 0.25 AXIS 35.0 in my right eye SPH 0.00 CYL -0.50 AXIS 115.0 in my left eye. Does this mean I am long or short sighted? And what would I need glasses for reading, computers, close up etc? 

Answer Video and written answer:

Near ADD and Intermediate ADD are to correct focusing at near, and is not usually applicable to you are in your 40s and are having problems reading. It is probably left blank in your case. BVD is Back Vertex Distance, which is the distance the lens is placed in front of you eyes to test your vision. The BVD affects the prescription in higher powers only, so again it will be left blank. The H and V at distance and near would be for prescribing prism that is used to correct a muscle imbalance between the two eyes.

Your prescription is very small. Your are very slightly myopic in the right eye but not in your left, and you have a small degree of astigmatism, which means that your eye is slightly shaped more like a rugby ball rather than a football, and your vision needs a correction more in one meridian than another. As your prescription is small you do not need glasses except if you are having some difficulties with focusing (at any distance) or having eye strain or headaches when using your eyes for prolonged work, again at near or distance. You will probably only notice a slight improvement in your visual acuity at distance if you were to wear the glasses, although they will also help you at near. 

For an explanation of a prescription, see our video below:

We recommend you seek professional advice if you are concerned about your eye health:

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Optician's Biography

Simon Kay BSc(Hons) MCOptom has been a qualified Optometrist for over 35 years, and has a vast experience of almost all aspects of optometry. He joined Specsavers Opticians in 1993 first in Liverpool and for 15 years as a director of Lancaster and Morecambe. He served on many panels and committees whilst a director, including those responsible for IT design and professional advancement. He was regional chairman of the North West directors of Specsavers for over 12 years and as such was involved in almost all aspects of optometry on a business and professional level. He has been involved on the Local Optical Committee for many years and is currently Vice Chairman in his area.
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