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Doctor insights on: How Can I Tell How Bad My Vision Is From My Contact Lens Prescription

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How can I tell how bad my vision is from my contact lens prescription?

How can I tell how bad my vision is from my contact lens prescription?

Look for the power: The prescription includes power, base curve, diameter. The higher the power, the stronger the prescription in either myopia (-) or hyperopia (+).

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Dr. Richard Bensinger
1,715 Doctors shared insights

Vision (Definition)

Vision is a feature of a person's brain that allows him to see. He must have normal eyes, optic nerves (that stretch from the eyes to the back of his brain), and visual cortex (the vision center in the brain), in order to see properly. An ophthalmologist is a ...Read more


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Can your contact lens prescription tell you what kind of vision you have (ie. 20/20)?

Can your contact lens prescription tell you what kind of vision you have (ie. 20/20)?

No: Your prescription tells you if you are myopic, hyperopic, and/or if you have astigmatism. It doesn't tell you how far down the chart you can read, but with the correct prescription you should see 20/20 assuming no ocular pathology to limit your vision potential.

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My contact lens prescription has changed twice in 9 mos. Because my close up reading vision has improved. Is this unusual for someone who is 59?

My contact lens prescription has changed twice in 9 mos. Because my close up reading vision has improved. Is this unusual for someone who is 59?

No: Your eyes may be changing as a result of nuclear sclerosis, which is hardening of your lens of your eye creating more nearsightedness. Your prescription would be changing as a consequence. Furthermore, the elasticity of the eye does change very gradually over time. Your eye doctor can help you with this and adjust as necessary. Btw, glaucoma treatments sometimes accelerate cataract formation too.

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Could you tell me if my contact lens prescription is -4.00/-4.50 what is my glasses prescription?

Could you tell me if my contact lens prescription is -4.00/-4.50 what is my glasses prescription?

Close: Commonly it is slightly higer like -4.50 and -5.00 but this depends in part on the goal and how long since your last examination. Also at your age there is the issue of bifocals due to near vision needs. Useful to check with your ophthalmologist for the best information on this.

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How do I know if my contact lens prescription bad enough to actually need contact lenses?

How do I know if my contact lens prescription bad enough to actually need contact lenses?

Comparison: I am not an eye guy, but scientifically thinking, I would get another opinion, test your vision with contacts on and contacts off. Which is better?

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Are optometrists able to tell what my contact lens prescription are by just looking at your glasses?

No: Fitting of contact lenses involves more than just the power of your corrective lenses. The corneal curvature, size of your cornea and general health of the anterior surface of your eye are taken into consideration. How your eye tolerates a specific contact lens is determined during the followup phase of your fitting.

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How to read my contact lens prescription?

How to read my contact lens prescription?

It is: A set of parameters that determines the type, power and fit of the contact lens. It is not written in an easy to understand manner. Ask your eye doctor's staff for an explanation.

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Why does my contact lens prescription change so much?

Why does my contact lens prescription change so much?

Depends: Prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses can change quite quickly, especially in younger individuals, and in those individuals performing lots of near-vision tasks like reading, computer use, or video games. It is also possible for diabetes and blood sugar changes to affect the prescription, and rarely certain medications can cause this too. Be checked by your eye md if your rx is changing.

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I don't know how to read my contact lens prescription? .Help?

I don't know how to read my contact lens prescription? .Help?

Why?: The prescription is designed so the supplier of the lenses can get the proper ones for you. They are very specific. Why do you need to know it exactly yourself. If you are ordering on line, all the information should be there as well. The doctor who gave you the prescription can interpret it for you.

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What to do if I do not know how to read my contact lens prescription!?

Training: If you cannot read it because the handwriting is bad, then ask for a replacement. If you want to understand what it means ask the ophthalmologist who wrote it. Otherwise your best bet is to attend opticianry school or medical school followed by an eye training program, and then you can understand the prescription.

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What to do if I got my contact lens prescription yesterday. Can this be used for any contacts?

Unlikely: Contact lens dispensers are obsessed with all the information being on the prescription so they can sell you the contacts, get the profit, but take absolutely no responsibility. So your prescription is for one type only and you will need to go to your ophthalmologist to get one for any other type of lens.

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What would you suggest I do to convert my contact lens prescription into eyeglass prescription?

Your doc is needed: Depending how near are farsighted you are, there are special formulas to determine this. Your eye doctor should be able to give you a prescription for both.

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Is it okay to convert my glasses prescription to my contact lens prescription?

Is it okay to convert my glasses prescription to my contact lens prescription?

Not really: The contact lens rx is determined from a refraction for glasses - sometimes trial fitting is necessary since the actual numbers are different due to an optical property called vertex distance.

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My contact lens prescription is significantly different from my glasses prescription. Is this normal?

A small difference: Is normal. A significant difference would be unusual but it could just be the way it is written in a different format.

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My contact lens prescription is different from my glasses prescription. Is it supposed to be like that?

My contact lens prescription is different from my glasses prescription. Is it supposed to be like that?

Yes: The optical principle is lens effectivity. As any lens is moved away from your eye it becomes inherently more powerful (positive) the inverse is also true, as a lens is moved to eye, becomes weaker (negative). So contacts and glasses are adjusted accordingly only if it will affect the final clinical outcome.

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Is it safe to use my contact lens prescription values for eyeglasses?

Not correct: Eyeglasses and contacts lens prescriptions are not the same. There is a power difference since the glasses are farther from the cornea surface compared to contact lens. Thus you need a different prescription, plus contact lens requires a base curve and diameter in addition to the power.

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Why does my contact lens prescription change so much every time I go to the doctor?

Not everyone stable: In some people, the glasses and contact lens powers seem to change annually. These are usually younger patients and occasionally older patients with cataract formation. Usually, most people stabilize by their mid 20's. Drastic changes in refraction may mean problems such as keratoconous or cataract. Best to have a dilated exam.

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Can you advise for contact lens prescription?

Not from afar: Contact lenses require measurement of the vision parameters, and assessment of the curvature of the eye. This requires hands on evaluation preferably by an ophthalmologist. That would be the best starting place.

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Dr. Tim Conrad
360 Doctors shared insights

Contact Lens Use (Definition)

A contact lens is a thin plastic or glass lens that is fitted over the colored part of the eye. It may be used for corrective, cosmetic, or therapeutic purposes. ...Read more