Just like eyeglasses, your contact lenses are considered a medical device. As such, you will need a prescription before you can buy or use one. Even Plano or contact lenses used only for color and cosmetic purposes must be fitted correctly and prescribed by a certified eye doctor. Your doctor knows what’s best for your eyes and your vision and they are the only ones who can give you a contact lens prescription.
Ophthalmologists and optometrists must issue these prescriptions as required by law so you will get one after every eye exam regardless of whether you asked for it or not. The challenge, however, is understanding what’s written in your prescription. Our eye care specialists at Spectrum Eye Care has listed a few important pointers you need to know about your contact lens prescription.
Prescription for Contact Lens and Eyeglasses
When you receive a prescription for glasses from your eye doctor, you might be inclined to think that it can serve as a prescription for contacts as well. Unfortunately, these two things are different from each other and one cannot be used in place of, or to acquire, the other. Even if you already have a prescription for eyeglasses, you will need to get another one for contact lenses.
Understanding Your Prescription
You might see the codes OD and OS on your contact lens prescription. OD and OS stand for oculus dexter and oculus sinister, and they refer to your right and left eyes, respectively. The SPH, short for the sphere, tells you the amount of lens power each of your eyes needs. They are positive (+) if you are farsighted and negative (-) if you are nearsighted. Lastly, CYL (cylinder) and AXIS numbers are used for astigmatism correction.
How Long Do Prescriptions Last?
The document itself can be used for up to a year starting from your last eye care visit. Some, however, may last shorter, depending on how your doctor determines the requirements for your vision correction. Contact lenses, on the other hand, can either be non-disposable or disposable, lasting anywhere between weeks to months before needing to be changed.
Get an accurate contact lens prescription after your eye exam at Spectrum Eye Care. Call us at (704) 817-4600 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation today. We serve patients in Mooresville and other nearby areas in SC.