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Below are the definitions of the symbols/abbreviations used in a typical contact lens prescription:
Astigmatism is blurred vision and is caused by an eye that is not completely round. Certain patients require contact lenses that are manufactured for toric or astigmatism correction. Prescriptions for these types of lenses contain two additional numbers that relate to the correction of the astigmatism. These two numbers are usually separated by an "X" and are indicated with the following symbols/abbreviations.
Some patients require lenses that are bifocal or multifocal. Prescriptions for these types of lenses will contain an additional number with the following symbol/abbreviation.
Take note of the information presented in a prescription, including: power, base curve, diameter and brand name. Bifocals and astigmatism prescriptions typically have additional information.
Learn the abbreviations used in a prescription:
Look for additional abbreviations used for bifocals:
Locate the prescription on the side of the box as seen below:
Read the measurement of the diameter (DIA), given in millimeters; this is the distance from one edge of the contact lens to the other.
Read the power (PWR) of the lens strength (it may be different for each eye), measured in diopters. The higher the power number, the stronger the prescription is. Look for a minus sign to indicate nearsightedness (myopia) and a plus sign that indicates farsightedness (hyperopia).
Read the base curve (BC) measurement in millimeters. The lower the number, the steeper the cornea of a patient's eye. If this measurement is not included, it is likely that the brand has only one standard base curve value.
Locate the brand name of the contact lens.
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