A Guide to Eye Axis Measurements

Crystal Clear Roebling glasses on a wooden table with a phone

Our on-screen time has substantially increased, causing many people to inquire and visit their optician to have their eyesight checked. However, many people are still confused and unaware about reading eye prescriptions and how corrective eyewear works. One thing you want to ask your optician is: What does axis mean in eye prescription?

Your optician might have informed you about your specific eye prescription axis information, or they may have suggested the best axis glasses for you. Further, they may have even notified you about weak eyesight, nearsightedness, or farsightedness, and whether you have astigmatism.

But do you know what all these abbreviations on your axis eye prescription mean?

What Is An Eye Axis?

What is an axis in glasses? It is a very common question that many people ask when they do not have enough information regarding their prescription.

An eye axis defines the lens meridian. Meridians of an eye are calculated by using a superimposed protractor scale which is visually placed in front of the eye. With the help of the 90-degree and 180-degree scale of the protractor, where the former represents the vertical position of the meridian and the latter represents the horizontal position, the axis of the lens meridian is calculated using the numbers between 1 and 180 degrees.

Most eye prescriptions show the value for the axis, which is often accompanied by a cylinder power symbol represented by the alphabet ‘x’. It is often written along with the axis number, for instance, x10, x180. A cylinder value refers to the power that you need for correcting your astigmatism. This axis number helps the optician to identify the direction to place the cylindrical power in your lenses, which is required for people who have astigmatism.

A normal eye axis means that the eyesight is strong and the vision is clear because the light is falling at the right place on your retina. But, if you are given an astigmatism prescription, this means that there are certain changes in your cornea’s shape due to light falling on different locations, instead of focusing on one point of your retina. As a result, you develop blurry vision.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is often known as a refractive error that occurs due to the cornea or lens shape being slightly different than the normal eye.

In a normal situation, the cornea and lens are equally curved, which helps make the vision clear as the light falls directly where it’s supposed to. However, if one has astigmatism, their cornea and lens are not equally curved and, therefore, they might have a different eye axis in comparison to that of a normal cornea. For example, if you have an axis 180 eye, your astigmatism is horizontal.

Research shows that 1 in every 3 people have astigmatism. It is a condition that can be present at birth and is visible to the parents or the child themselves after a certain age. Another reason for someone having astigmatism could be family genes. If someone in your family has astigmatism, then there are chances that either you or your children may have the same condition.

If you’re worrying about how to stop astigmatism from getting worse or figuring out how to avoid it, you should get your eyes checked by a doctor. They’ll schedule certain tests to diagnose your condition and determine which astigmatism glasses would be the best for you.

A pair of brown glasses with a computer, photo, and camera

Ordering Glasses With An Astigmatism Prescription

While it is not something fatal, you should not leave astigmatism untreated. When you leave such conditions untreated, there is a high chance of things getting worse. If your optician has given you an astigmatism prescription, you might want to look into what options you have for astigmatism glasses and how you can find the best deals. Astigmatism glasses or lenses could be a great choice to avoid extreme vision problems.

But before purchasing anything, be sure to keep this one question in mind: what does axis mean for glasses? You should know that the axis for a lens and the axis for glasses are completely different, and that is why it is important to know how to read your eye prescription.

You don’t need to worry if you have astigmatism, as it is something that is absolutely treatable. Further, if you are prescribed astigmatism glasses, it does not mean that you have to be stuck wearing boring, unattractive glasses as many people did in the past.

Now there are entire lines of stylish eyewear that can be found online or in physical stores, which will help you give your eyes the style and comfort they need. At Felix Gray, we can currently provide designer prescription glasses online with a spherical value (SPH) between -6.00 and +4.00 up to a -/+2.00 cylinder (CYL). If you have astigmatism, we need both your cylinder and axis values in order to fulfill your prescription. If you need a prescription, you can obtain one by scheduling an eye exam with your local eye doctor, optical provider, optometrist, or ophthalmologist. Ready to find a pair of Felix Gray glasses to call your own? Shop our selection of eyeglasses now!