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How do I read prescriptions for colored contact lenses?

Aug 19,2023 | MCLEYE

Do I Need Contact Lens Prescription?

It's important to understand that obtaining a prescription is essential when considering contact lenses. While there might be a few exceptions in certain countries, in general, a prescription is required for all types of contact lenses. This includes colored contact lenses that are used primarily for cosmetic reasons.

Before making any contact lens purchases, it's advisable to have a conversation with an eye doctor. Eye care professional will conduct an eye examination to determine your specific prescription. Additionally, a fitting for the lenses will be necessary to ensure they are a proper match for your eyes.

How do I read prescriptions for colored contact lenses?

Reading prescriptions for colored contact lenses follows a similar format to regular contact lens prescriptions, with a few additional details related to the color aspect. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to read a prescription for colored contact lenses:

1. Doctor's Information: The prescription will start with the name, address, and contact information of the eye care professional who issued the prescription. This is usually found at the top of the prescription.

2. Patient Information: Next, you'll find the patient's name and other relevant personal information, such as the date of the prescription.

3. OD and OS: The prescription will often have the abbreviations "OD" and "OS" listed. These stand for "oculus dexter" (right eye) and "oculus sinister" (left eye), respectively. The information for each eye is listed separately.

4. Sphere (SPH): This indicates the main lens power in diopters (D) for each eye. It can be a positive (+) or negative (-) value. A positive number means you are farsighted, and a negative number means you are nearsighted. For example, if the prescription says -2.00, it means you are nearsighted by 2 diopters.

5. Cylinder (CYL): If you have astigmatism, this value will be present. It is indicated in diopters and can be positive or negative. If the prescription has no cylinder value, you don't have astigmatism.

6. Axis: The axis is only applicable if there is a cylinder value present. It shows the orientation of the astigmatism correction in degrees.

7. Addition (ADD): This is an additional power for those who require multifocal lenses, usually for presbyopia. It is measured in diopters and can be a positive number.

8. Base Curve (BC): This is the curvature of the back surface of the contact lens, measured in millimeters (mm). It helps ensure a proper fit.

9. Diameter (DIA): The diameter of the contact lens is also measured in millimeters (mm). It determines the size of the lens.

10. Dominant: This information pertains to individuals in need of multifocal or bifocal lenses. The dominant eye is denoted with a “D”, while the non-dominant eye is denoted with an “N.”

11. Brand and Material: The prescription may also include specific details about the brand and material of the colored contact lenses recommended by the eye care professional.

12. Color Specification: The most crucial part of a colored contact lens prescription is the specification of the color and any pattern if applicable. This could be mentioned as a brand or model name, color description (e.g., blue, green, hazel), or specific design (e.g., natural, enhancer).

13. Expiration Date: The prescription will have an expiration date, after which you'll need to get a new one for purchasing contact lenses.

Ensure you always adhere to the guidance given by your eye care professional and purchase colored contact lenses only from reputable sources with a valid prescription. Should you have any inquiries or apprehensions, don't hesitate to seek advice from your eye care professional.