Your Prescription

Your prescription can be measured by an optometrist (OD) or ophthalmologist (MD), but the information belongs to you and you should leave the doctor’s office with a copy of your glasses prescription.  The glasses prescription can be used on any kind of eyeglasses; your glasses prescription is not restricted to glasses that may be recommended by the doctor.  Also, be sure to ask the doctor to measure your pupillary distance and write that down on the eyeglasses prescription as well.  If you have your eyeglasses prescription with your pupillary distance when you leave your eye doctor’s office, then you can buy glasses with that prescription at any eyeglasses store.

We strongly recommend that you fax your glasses prescription to us. We can read your eyeglasses prescription and then help find the best prescription eye glasses lens for you. For multifocal orders, we require that you fax your prescription to us.

Reading your prescription

Eyeglasses prescriptions have a certain format that is typically followed. The first line of your glasses prescription is always for the right eye, sometimes designated the OD. The second line is for the left eye, sometimes designated OS. The glasses prescription for each eye is divided into Sphere, Cylinder, and Axis values. It is common to have no values for any one of these, in which case you might see the letters PL or plano, or to have values for all of these. Sometimes the eyeglasses prescription may say OU which means both eyes.

Multifocal eyeglasses prescription

If your prescription is for bifocals or trifocals of progressive lenses, there may be additional information on the prescription that says for example Add +2.50. This is important information if you are ordering reading or multifocal lenses. The numbers are expressed in diopters (a universal value system) that tells the power of the lens.

On a prescription for multifocal glasses lenses, you will see information designated as add power. Your add power is simply the magnification that is added to your sphere value for distance vision, in order to create a field of view for reading. For example, if your sphere value for distance viewing is 3.00, and your add power is +2.00, then your near vision correction is 1.00. Or, if your sphere value for distance viewing is +1.00 and your add power is +2.00, then your near vision correction is +3.00.

Pupillary Distance PD

An accurate PD is a required measurement in order to make prescription glasses, and you cannot purchase from without one.

Your PD is the distance in millimeters between your pupils (the centers of your eyes). Your adult PD never changes, and it averages 60 millimeters (mm) for women, and 64 mm for men. Sometimes your eye doctor will write your PD for each eye (for example 33/34, called a monocular pd). Or, the eye doctor may write the PD as 67/64. This means that your PD for distance vision (or DPD) is 67, and for near vision (or NPD, for reading eyeglasses or multifocal lenses) it is 64. Your near vision PD is almost always 3mm less than your distance vision PD.

Eyeglasses Categories

There are many different types of prescription glasses that are out there.  For example,  there are rimless eyeglasses, titanium eyeglasses, plastic eyeglasses, and flexible eyeglasses.  You can also get eyeglass frames with sunclipsclip on sunglasses attachments to turn regular eyeglasses into prescription sunglasses.

Designer eyeglasses are worn by celebrities and by us common folk.  Visit our Celebrity Eyewear section to see what the stars are wearing.  Or, browse our most popular eyeglasses to see what everybody else likes.




Meyer wrote on 11/08/09 5:51 PM

I have a eye glasses prescription that is 3 years old from Lenscrafters. Can I use this old prescription to obtain a new pair of lenses and frames? Thanks.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 11/08/09 6:11 PM

At we accept old prescriptions. However, we do recommend that you get regular eye examinations by an eye doctor at least once a year. An eye doctor examination can spot eye problems (like glaucoma) and treat them before they cause permanent vision damage.
silvio camilleri

silvio camilleri wrote on 12/16/09 1:08 PM

In the prescription I have values for right and left eye for far and near. In the field for "Near" I have written "ADD +2.25" for both right and left eyes. There is then a field marked "Remarks" where the optician wrote down "ADD +0.25 for varifocals". I would like to order a progressive spectacles; what is the ADD value which I should indicate? is it the +2.25 or the +0.25?
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 12/17/09 10:26 AM

Sometimes eye doctors will write the prescription that way, with an additional add value for varifocals. The best way to enter the prescription is to name the prescription "Progressive" and then enter the add as +250. If you later decide to buy bifocal with line lenses, you will create another prescription named "Bifocals", and enter the add at +225. However, if this is all too complicated, feel free to call customer service, and we can enter it for you. And we always recommend faxing your prescription to us so we can double check the numbers.

elise wrote on 02/17/10 7:52 PM

I recently had my eyes examined and astigmatism(values for cylinder and axis) was only noted in rx regarding my left eye. I'm confused BC my previous rx noted said values for both eyes. Also the values for my left eye went from -0.75 & 160 to -0.5 & 150. Did my new eye doctor make a mistake? Is this normal?
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 02/17/10 8:18 PM

Prescription changes like this are completely normal, and there is nothing unusual about it. Trust your eye doctor.
Alice Yeager

Alice Yeager wrote on 05/14/10 6:53 PM

I have a pair of frames my daughter bought me for my birthday last year. With a prescription can you put lenses in them?
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 05/18/10 6:32 AM

Yes. With our Replacement Lenses service, you can mail in your frames and your prescription and we can make lenses.

j.m. wrote on 05/22/10 9:58 PM

in the specification for a pair of frames:

40-22-140 B40

what does the B40 mean?

Cheryl wrote on 07/08/10 5:09 AM

I cannot find glasses that I like at my current optometrist's office. I have tried and even had some ordered to try. I have decided to order online.....however, they will not provide me with my PD reading. Is this supposed to be part of my prescription, or can they legally withhold this information?

Thank you.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 07/08/10 7:16 AM

Your pupillary distance is personal information and cannot be legally witheld. However, if the optometrist is stubborn, you may need to hire a lawyer to get it, which of course does not make sense. You could file an objection with your State's Attorney General, and complain to the BBB, both of which will help to make other people aware of the optometrist's illegal activity.

Jackie wrote on 07/21/10 12:26 PM

My new prescription calls for a distance adjustment in my right eye. I do not want the correction made on my new lenses, just the near vision correction. The optical store I ordered glasses from won't do it - they say it is against federal law not to put the distance correction on the lenses. Is this true?
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 07/22/10 12:04 PM

There are no federal laws compelling eyewear stores to make lenses in a certain way.
Robin Hedegore

Robin Hedegore wrote on 08/20/10 9:34 AM

I would like to put new lenses into my rimless frame. I have my new RX but it does not include a PD. Can you obtain that information from the old glasses?

David wrote on 08/21/10 4:10 PM

I have an old pair of glasses that are labeled University 160 frames. They are metal that grab behind each ear for sports wear. Where would I find something comparable?
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 08/24/10 7:29 AM

You are describing "cable temples", which wrap around the ear. You can search on our website for "cable" which will bring up many frames with cable temples.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 08/24/10 7:30 AM

If you send us a pair of old glasses with your old prescription in them, we can measure your pupillary distance (PD) from those.

Drew wrote on 09/02/10 9:13 PM

Two questions:

Is it true you PD stays the same throughout your adult life? If so what age would it level off at, 21 years old?

If my RX is slightly off, or very much off could it damage my eyes if I never noticed it? This is my main concern and hopefully you could better inform me. Thank you.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 09/03/10 8:37 PM

Your PD does remain the same throughout your life. However, people stop growing at different ages. You will need to determine that age for yourself with your eye doctor. As for your prescription question, there is no evidence to support the idea that a wrong prescription can damage your eyesight. However, the wrong prescription can cause headaches, nausea, doublevision, etc.

John wrote on 09/27/10 11:19 PM

I recently had glasses made, and returned them to a "Large Chain" of eye wear stores because they couldn't get the axis correct on my prescription for astigmatic correction. What are your "tolerances" for making lenses off of these types of lenses? The chain store tried twice, and couldn't do better than +/- 3 degrees, which made a visible difference in vision for me. I'd like to believe in this day and age you could get better accuracy in this process.
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 09/29/10 7:32 PM

It is impossible for us to assess your situation without seeing your glasses. You would need to send them to us for an evaluation. We could then discuss it with you before we do anything.

Jan wrote on 01/07/11 11:48 AM

Our Eye Dr will not measure for PD unless you plan to buy glasses from them. My husband got his PD measured but they refuse to put it on the prescription but, gave it to me verbally. Is this sufficient?
Mark Agnew

Mark Agnew wrote on 01/14/11 11:38 AM

Yes, you can just email the PD number to us, or fax, phone...whatever is easy.

Lorraine wrote on 03/11/14 10:34 AM

If a prescription is made with the wrong PD. For example PD of patient is 67 but the prescription was made using a PD of 64, would this impede the patient's vision?

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