How To Read A Contact Lens Prescription?

How To Read A Contact Lens Prescription?

Let us help you! If you’ve arrived on the Coloured Contacts website with your prescriber’s prescription recommendation, we’ll be more than happy to show you which pairs of contact lenses can work with you. And then, you can choose your favorite prescription lenses on Freshlady Eye website.

How To Read Your Contact Lens Prescription

The first thing you’ll need to take note of with your prescription is your which eye is being referred to. Some optical prescriptions may use the Latin variation for each eye.


Freshlady Ocean Gray ME24 Colored Contact Lenses


Lens: Freshlady Ocean Gray ME24 Colored Contact Lenses


What does each prescription figure mean?

Base Curve (BC): The base curve determines what type of fit is required for the lens to meet the curve of your eye; this is usually written in millimeters or sometimes with the words: flat, medium, or steep.

Diameter (DIA): The diameter of the contact lens is also written in millimeters and determines the width that best fits your eye.

Power/Sphere/D  (PWR/SPH): On your prescription, this part refers to the type of correction your eyesight requires.  A prescription for short-sighted vision will be displayed with a – (minus sign) and a + (plus sign) will be used to determine long-sighted vision. The numbers that follow are usually expressed in intervals of 0.025 dioptres, with higher numbers meaning a higher stronger corrective lens will be needed.

Cylinder (CYL):  The Cylinder or CYL on an optical prescription is used to determine the severity of your astigmatism. This part of the prescription will feature a negative number that increases in intervals of 0.25 depending on the severity of astigmatism.

Axis (AX): The axis in an optical prescription refers to the curvature of the human eye. People with astigmatism will have a figure between 0-180 degrees which corresponds to the irregular curvature of their eye. This figure shows the angle which is needed in order to correct vision with astigmatism.

Prescription Figures for Presbyopia

The below figures are only displayed on contact lens prescriptions where there is a need for presbyopia/multifocal correction.

Addition (ADD): If you suffer from presbyopia it affects your near vision, the Addition figure determines what level of correction you need to be able to see clearly at a close distance. This is a number between 0.50 and 3.00, some contact lens brands refer to this as a high, medium, or low.


Freshlady Crystal Brown Y02 Circle Colored Contact Lenses

Lens: Freshlady Crystal Brown Y02 Circle Colored Contact Lenses



Reading An Astigmatism Prescription

As well as the key attributes located in the section above, those with astigmatism should be aware of a few more details that will help them understand their prescription.

If you are a wearer that suffers from astigmatism it is important to ask for your optician’s opinion and advice before trying contact lenses. Although we do not currently offer a range of prescription contact lenses for astigmatism, it may be useful to see our range of prism ballast contact lenses. Find out more here:

Water Content In Contact Lenses

As you would have read from our other guides; at Coloured Contacts we only stock ranges of soft contact lenses. Unlike rigid contact lenses, soft contacts are known for their outstanding durability and comfort.  Although we only stock this one type of lens, the style and duration of a lens may mean a differentiation in either material composition or water content. Luckily the contact lenses will always be soft and you can find the exact water content and material composition among the key features tab on any of our contact lenses.

A contact lens is a medical device, and a poorly fitted lens — or one made from a material not well-suited to your eyes — can cause distorted vision, discomfort, infection, inflammation, swelling, and abrasion. In rare cases, permanent eye tissue damage could result.

And it goes without saying that you should never share your contact lenses, including colored contacts and theatrical contacts. Sharing contact lenses can cause potentially sight-threatening eye problems.

Where can you use your contact lens prescription?

Once you've been properly fitted by your eye doctor and have a valid contact lens prescription, you have the option of buying contact lenses from a wide variety of sources.

These include your eye care practitioner, optical chains, warehouse clubs, mass merchandisers, and online retailers.

Wherever you choose to purchase your contact lenses, always make sure you buy your contacts from a legitimate source. Vendors selling contact lenses without a prescription, such as you might find in a flea market, gas station, or novelty shop, are breaking the law.

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