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How To Read Your Contact Lens Prescription

Looking to buy contact lenses online with your current contact lens prescription? Like many other contact lens wearers, perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to buy your contacts online from an authorized retailer, such as MyLens.ca! Reading your contact lens prescription accurately is important, as it helps ensure the contact lenses you buy will provide the proper visual correction you need. To help you read your contact lens prescription, we’ve provided some information and tips below to help!


Where can I find my contact lens prescription?
There are two main sources to find your contact lens prescription:


  • Through the prescription provided to you by your eye care provider. It’s important to note that contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions are not interchangeable. Double check to make sure you are using a contact lens prescription to buy contacts online.

  • Here’s a sample contact lens prescription:

    How to read your contact lens prescription

     

  • On the side of your contact lens box. Remember, you should have your eyes checked every 1 - 2 years to ensure your current prescription is suitable for your eyes.

    How to read your contact lens prescription on your box


  • Are contact lens prescriptions the same as glasses prescriptions?
    No. Contact lens and glasses prescriptions are not interchangeable. It’s important to ensure you order your contact lenses online with your contact lens prescription.


    What is the base curve in contact lenses?
    The contact lens base curve (BC) is a specific number that indicates the measurement of the curvature of the contact lens. Contact lenses are available in different base curves. After a contact lens fitting, your eye care provider will use the curvature of your eye to decide which contact lens base curve is appropriate for you. The base curve is one of many aspects used to determine which contact lens brand will suit you.

    What is the diameter in contact lenses?
    The contact lens diameter (DIA) is the measurement of the contact lens from one edge to the other. This number represents the size of the contact lens. This measurement helps ensure that the contact lens properly covers your eye.


    What is the power/sphere/dioptre in contact lenses?
    The contact lens power/sphere/dioptre (PWR/SPH/D) listed in your prescription represents the power of the contact lens your eye requires to provide accurate visual correction. If you see a minus sign (-) before your power/sphere/dioptre, this means that you are nearsighted. If you see a positive sign (+), this means you are farsighted. A larger number simply represents a stronger prescription.


    What brand of contact lenses should I buy?
    If you are ordering your contacts online using the prescription you received from your eye care provider, you will see a section that notes the brand/manufacturer (see picture below). The brand of contact lenses you wear is chosen based on your lifestyle needs and contact lens fitting. 

    Use the search tool on MyLens.ca to find the matching brand and proceed with entering your prescription.

    Where to find your contact lens brand on your prescription

     

    If you are using your old box of contact lenses to order, then you’re ready to order your contacts! Use the search tool on MyLens.ca to find the same brand of contacts.

    Where to find your contact lens brand on the box

     

    What is the cylinder in contact lenses?
    A contact lens cylinder (CYL) is only found on prescriptions or boxes of contact lenses that correct astigmatism. This number is an additional measurement that ensures the contacts fit properly, as it represents a correction to the curvature of the lens to help correct the symptoms of astigmatism.


    What is the axis in contact lenses?
    A contact lens axis (AXIS) is only found on prescriptions or boxes of contact lenses that correct astigmatism. This number is a measurement in degrees, and represents the required location of cylindrical power on the contact lens.


    What is the add power in contact lenses?
    Contact lens add power (ADD) is only found on prescriptions or boxes of multifocal contact lenses, which are often used to correct presbyopia. The add power represents the magnifying power included in the contacts, which helps with up close vision (reading, crafts, etc.). The add power can be represented by a numerical value, or as High/Medium/Low. This will always be represented as a positive (+) value.

    What are toric contact lenses?
    A toric contact lens is designed to correct astigmatism. People that have astigmatism often experience blurred vision when wearing a standard contact lens. Examples of toric contact lenses include Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism, Biofinity Toric, 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism and Bausch & Lomb Ultra for Astigmatism.

    What are multifocal contact lenses?
    A multifocal contact lens is designed to correct presbyopia. Multifocal contact lenses are made with different lens powers, which address vision correction at varying distances. Examples of multifocal contacts include Acuvue Oasys for Presbyopia, Acuvue Oasys Multifocal, Bausch & Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia, Biofinity Multifocal and Proclear Multifocal.

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