How to Read Your Contact Lens Prescription?

end of contact lens box showing where to find the diameter, base curve, power, cylinder and axisAcuvue Oasys contact lens blister packaging showing where to find the base curve, diameter and power

People often think their spectacle prescription is the same as your contact lens prescription. It isn’t. If an optometrist fits your contact lenses, they will issue a contact lens prescription for you. If you don’t have one – please ask!

Where to find your Contact Lens Prescription Details.

Your contact lens prescription is at the end of your contact lens box. However, if you have already thrown out the box, you will find it on your contact lens blister. Alternatively, you can get a copy of your prescription details from your optometrist directly.

Information you need to fill your contact lens script.

There are four to six critical details from your contact lens prescription you will need to order your contact lenses online. 

  1. Brand and Lens Type: This should be written clearly on the prescription provided by your optometrist and your contact lens boxes. Each contact lens brand will have different lens types within their ranges. Your lens type will be spherical (daily, fortnightly, monthly), toric, multifocal, or colour. 
  2. Power: This is the strength of the contact lens you require for clear vision. The power may be different for each eye. Please note that this may or may not be the same as your spectacle. In particular, for higher prescriptions and astigmatism corrections.
  3. Base Curve (BC):
  4. Eye shapes are not all the same. Therefore, contact lens designs accommodate flatter and more curved shapes. The base curve specifies the curve of your contact lens to ensure the correct fit on your eye.
  5. Diameter (Diam): This indicates the width of your contact lens to ensure that your cornea is covered correctly. Diameter numbers are often between 14.00 and 15.00 mm. Large eyes require a larger diameter; Smaller eyes are suitable for a small diameter.
  6. Cylinder (CYL): This is only for prescriptions for astigmatic patients. In this case, you have been prescript a Toric contact lens and will need to provide a cylinder value. The cylinder is the power of correction for your toric lens.
  7. Axis: Also for astigmatic patients. The axis is needed to supplement the cylinder value. It describes the direction of your astigmatism. Your contact lens prescription will show a value between 10-180 for the axis. 

What to do if you need help with your prescription.

If you are unsure how to enter your contact lens prescription – please ask!

If you can’t find your contact lens brand and type in our menus – check our list of brand equivalents. In this case, the contact lenses are the same, made at the same factory but have a different label – like home brand products at the supermarket.

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