Understanding your prescription
In the UK, there's several different layouts and ways to write a spectacle prescription or RX.
The way one optician lays it out may be different from another optician. Despite the different ways to write and layout a prescription, all prescriptions contain the same information that you need to order glasses online.
The easiest way to minimise errors when ordering glasses is to simply upload a photograph of your prescription. This is our recommend method if you are at all unsure. However we understand that this may not always possible so we'll show you the most common ways a prescription can be written and how that would need to be put into our system when placing an order for glasses or lenses from us online.
About Prescription Values:
A prescription consists of up to three values for each eye and sometimes a fourth (but not always) Reading Add+
+ or - SPH (Sphere)
+ or - CYL (Cylinder)
AXIS (from 1 to 180 degree's)
There will be either a plus or a minus sign in front of the SPH and CYL values, and it's vital that you select the correct symbol when you enter your prescription. If you use a + instead of a - or vice versa, you won’t be able to see through your glasses at all.
If your prescription has a value in the ‘Prism’ box please do not place an order with us online.
Below are examples of the most common prescription formats. The Sph on both the right and left eyes, a Cyl on both right and left eyes, and an axis measurement on both right and left eyes. The reading add+ (the extra power added to a lens for reading glasses or varifocal glasses) is most commonly wrote at the end of the prescription in the add box or underneath the prescription, and it is always the same for both eyes.
The two prescriptions both contain the same information but are written in different ways.
You can see how it’s split into left eye and right eye, and it also has a Distance row and a Near row. There are also headings for SPH (Sphere), CYL (Cylinder) and AXIS.
Question - How do I know what to enter on your system to order the glasses i need ?
If you are at all unsure then please upload your prescription as it's written or contact us.
1: For Single Vision Distance glasses:
Everyday use at long distance, tv and driving etc where you just use one pair of glasses (generally people under 40 years old).
Take the values from the top row (highlighted Blue in the image below) right and left eyes and enter them in the relevant indicated boxes on our cart page manual entry form. Make sure you enter the right values in the right eye boxes and left eye values in the correct left hand boxes on our site. Ensure you correctly enter + or - symbols. This will enable us to make you single vision long distance glasses.
2: For Single Vision Reading glasses:
Reading glasses are a little more complicated because reading values can be written in two different ways: as a whole value, or as an ‘add’. Let us just quickly bring your attention back to this image:
Both prescriptions above contain the same information but are written differently. As we have already said, the top row prescription is for long distance single vision glasses used for everything except near vision unless you are able to wear one pair of single glasses for everything (younger people) and have no reading add indicated at all. If your prescription is written like the version that has an ‘ADD’ written in the Near row this tells us the extra power we need to add to make your lenses up and suitable for reading and near vision. We will use your distance prescription(Sph value) with your ‘ADD’ added on top to make your glasses up for reading.
However, if you don't have an ‘ADD’ indicated like the example at the top, but instead you have all of the values written out in the Near row underneath, it will look like the lower bottom example written out again in full (the maths have been done in full for us already) This is your full near prescription for reading. For single vision reading glasses you should enter your full reading prescription entering the values from the bottom line only.
If this is the case just mark the ‘ADD’ box as 'no add' on our system and just input the SPH, CYL and AXIS values from the Near bottom row (as you can see above on the bottom row).
What if I have an 'add' and values in the reading row ?
If your prescription has both a ‘Near’ section written in full and an ‘Add’ on it somewhere it would be less common.
How to order the lenses you want on our system:
1 - To order long distance lenses - Use/enter the Distance values (top line only in distance boxes) to order long distance glasses for the tv, driving etc.
2 method A- To order near vision lenses - Either use/enter the Distance values in full (top line) and then the reading add if there is one written
2 method B- use/enter the Near vision values in full (bottom line in the near box) if your optician has written your prescription out 'in full' this way –
but please do not mix both methods. Take care not to add the 'reading add' to the bottom line near vision values.This can only ever be added to the Distance vision values (top line)
This equation has already been done by the optician and the bottom line near values are all you need for near vision reading glasses.. If you put (add) a Reading +add on top of your near vision reading prescription (bottom line), you’ll end up with glasses far too strong for you to be able to see through or use because you are doubling up on the reading prescription powers needed.
You'll need to Upload your prescription to order Varifocal glasses online with us.
For varifocals, we need your distance prescription and your add, so that we can make your lenses with both distance and reading parts to them. Please upload your prescription to save a costly error for yourself.
Our prescription entry format: