When you visit an optometrist to correct your vision, they’ll perform a series of tests to determine the type of prescription lenses you need. These prescriptions use a combination of specific measurements to help you see clearly with contacts or glasses if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. However, your prescription will likely change over time. If your current eyewear isn’t working as well as it should, here’s what to know about changing prescriptions and how to decipher them.
Why Does Vision Change?
When adults reach their 40s, their vision can worsen as their eyes’ lenses lose their natural elasticity. This condition is known as presbyopia, and it causes farsightedness, which makes it more difficult for people to see objects up close.
Children, on the other hand, will often experience rapid prescription changes in early adolescence due to the natural growth that changes the shape and size of the eye. A child with nearsightedness should expect their prescription to grow more intense as they get older.
Other vision changes can be related to diseases that impact the health of the eye—including age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. In some cases, updating one’s prescription can improve sight. However, some cases may also require medication or surgery as recommended by an optometrist. Some conditions, however, can lead to permanent vision loss.
If you experience temporary blurriness after using a computer, you may be suffering from eye strain, which occurs when the muscles in the eye are overworked and have difficulty focusing. Commonly, this issue will occur if you’ve stared at a screen for too long.
Although updated prescriptions aren’t necessary to address strain, specialty lenses — such as those that filter out blue light from digital screens — can help prevent the problem from occurring.
How Do You Read a Vision Prescription?
Figuring out vision prescription terms can be confusing when you’re comparing your past and future needs. To help clear things up, here are a few common abbreviations your optometrist may use and what they mean:
- OD: Right Eye
- OS: Left Eye
- OU: Both Eyes
- SPH: Sphere, or the power of the prescriptive lens. Nearsighted individuals will have a negative SPH number, while farsighted individuals will have a positive SPH.
- CYL: Cylinder, or the lens power to correct astigmatism.
- AXIS: A degree that’s paired with CYL measurements for people with astigmatism. It defines the position of astigmatism on the cornea.
Taking control of your eye care is easy when you’re a patient of Spencerport Optical. Serving patients of all ages in the Spencerport, NY, area, they provide comfortable eye exams to pinpoint a variety of vision-related problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. To learn more about their services, visit this trusted vision center online. To make an appointment with an optometrist, call (585) 352-1960.