Eye examination & Way to read eyeglass prescription

Eye examination & Way to read eyeglass prescription

Eye examination & Way to read eyeglass prescription

For Ethnic Chinese and international students living in the United States, it is not easy to buy a pair of suitable glasses. On the one hand, foreign glasses do not fit Asian faces, and on the other hand, the optometry process is more complicated, unlike any eyeglasses stores in China that can undergo optometry without an appointment. This article will show you how to do an eye exam in the United States and how to read your prescription. Let you no longer have to worry about optometry.

Where can do an eye exam?

where can do eye exam

  • Retail stores
  • Eye clinic

Optometry and filling a prescription are two separate processes in the United States. So the first step in buying glasses is optometry. But many people don’t know where to do an eye exam, especially those who first came to the US. In general, you can choose retail stores or an eye clinic to do an eye test. there are some differences between the two places.

Retail stores

Retail stores like Costco, Sam’s Clubs, Walmarts, and more will offer an optical center for eye exams. The average cost of prescription glasses is about $50, and the cost of contact lenses and glasses together is about $100. And if you don't have serious eye disease and just want to do optometry, then you can choose an optometry center in retail stores to do an eye exam. The price will be cheaper and more convenient.

Eye clinic

If you have eye diseases like Dry Eye, Glaucoma and so on or you want to prevent ocular diseases then you better choose an eye clinic. Because Ophthalmologists are more professional than optometrists, there are also more eye tests included. But it should be noted that the cost of the eye clinic is higher than retail stores. The average cost of an eye exam is about $200.

Regardless of whether you’re visiting a chain or an eye clinic for your exam, make sure you know what the pricing structure is before committing to avoid any surprise costs.

How to read Eyeglass Prescription?

After you have done your eye test, you can get your prescription, there are generally two types of prescriptions, one is a prescription with only frame glasses; the other is a prescription that includes both frame glasses and contact lenses. First, we’ll show you how to read eyeglasses prescription.

eyeglass prescription

  • OD &OS&OU

OD( oculus dextrous) means right eye, sometimes doctors will use RE of right instead of OD; OS( oculus sinister) means left eye, sometimes doctors will use LE of left instead of OS; OU(oculus uterque) means both eyes. They are all Latin abbreviations.


  • Sph(spherical)

The degree of myopia or hyperopia, the negative number is myopia, the positive number is hyperopia and multiplied by 100, it becomes the Chinese degree. For example, -2.50 is 250° myopia.

  • Cyl: (cylinder)

In astigmatism degree, a negative number is a myopia, a positive number is farsightedness, and multiplied by 100 becomes a Chinese degree. For example, -2.00 is 200° of astigmatism.


  • Axis (astigmatism)

The number of axes describes the location of astigmatism in your eye. The smaller astigmatism, the demand for axial astigmatism error is low; the larger astigmatism, the demand for axial astigmatism is high.


  • PD ( pupillary distance)

In short, it is the distance between the pupils(black hole) of the eyes. The parameter of pupillary distance is very important in Optometry. Once the measurement of pupillary distance is inaccurate, it will affect the wearer, causing the feeling of discomfort and may even affect the vision. If you can’t find your PD on the eyeglasses prescription, you can use our online tool to measure pupillary distance by yourself.


  • Prism

Prisms generally correct and relieve strabismus; for people with nearsightedness or farsightedness, this parameter will not appear on your prescription.


  • Add (additional magnifying)

Add means additional magnifying. This column is seen on prescriptions for reading glasses or the lower portion of bifocal or progressive lenses.

Contact lenses have many advantages over frames. Therefore, many people with myopia have replaced frames with Contact lenses. However, when choosing contact lenses, many people have misunderstandings. They directly use the eyeglasses perspective to buy contact lenses, which causes an increase in myopia. The degree of contact lenses is not the same as the frames. Because the contact lens is attached to the cornea, the distance of light refraction is shorter, and the smaller the degree of a concave lens, the faster the refraction distance of light, so the degree of Contact lenses is smaller than the frames. There is some difference between eyeglasses prescription and contact lens prescription, to find a contact lens that suit you, we’ll tell you how to read your contact lens prescription.

How to read contact lens  Prescriptions?

contact lens prescription

  • OD/OS/OU

Same as an eyeglasses prescription, referring to the right eye/left eye/both eyes.

  • Power/SPH

 Same as eyeglasses prescription, referring to luminosity, the negative number is myopia, and the positive number is presbyopia.

  • BC

BC  is  the  abbreviation of "Base Curve", lens base curve (according to the corneal curvature)

DIA stands for "Diameter", lens diameter (based on corneal diameter)

  • Brand

The brand of contact lenses that your doctor recommends for you is based on the condition of your eyes.

How to find a facility for a quick eye exam? 

eyeque for eye exam

If you are far from optical shops and hospitals, or simply do not want to go out for optometry. With NextPair, you have a hassle-free way to save money! That is to use the black technology optometry equipment EyeQue. EyeQue is a smartphone vision test device patented by MIT. It has 35k users and has been used tens of millions of times. The test results are accurate and trustworthy. Just three steps to achieve fast optometry at home. Now shop at nextpair and you'll get free eyeque vision check equipment.


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