Contact Lens and Eyeglass Prescriptions: Is there a Difference?
by EO Executive Optical | September 14, 2021 at 03:10pm

Eyeglasses and contact lenses are two of the most used eyewear in the Philippines. Purchasing these eyewear pieces, ultimately, should not be done haphazardly. Proper checkup along with the correct prescription should be followed to address any refractive error accurately. If you are looking at contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions and getting cross-eyed about their contents, I suggest you read along… I will shed light on the facts you need to know about them.



Both eyewear pieces are mainly designed to correct the refractive error of your eyes, so this information will show on both contact lens and eyeglass prescriptions.


The Left and the Right

It is fundamental for you to know that your left and right eyes may differ in terms of refractive error.


oculus dexter


Right eye


oculus sinister


Left eye


oculus uterque


Both eyes


Some modern prescriptions may show LE for the left eye and RE for the right eye. The information about your right eye is shown before your left eye’s because the eye doctor sees your right eye first when they are facing you.




Written as the term SPH, Sphere indicates the lens power needed to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness. Lens power is measured in terms of diopters (D).

Minus sign (-)



Plus sign (+)





Prescription Expiration date

A prescription is generally valid for one year, but it is best to rely on checkup results prior to purchasing new eyewear in the Philippines.




Eyeglasses sit farther away from your eyes (around 12 millimeters) compared to contact lenses which are directly placed on the eye’s surface. This is the main reason their prescriptions cannot be used for the purpose of the other. The below are the information that can be found only on a contact lens prescription.


Base Curve

Abbreviated as BC, this is the curvature of the back surface of the contact lens.



This specifies the overall size of the lens and is seen on the prescription as DIA.


Lens brand

This is directly related to the degree of oxygen permeability of the lens material.



Eyewear in the Philippines is a thriving industry because of the importance of proper eye care. As is said, the “eye is the jewel of the body” – what better way to preserve this jewel’s beauty than to take good care of it, yes? See to it that you understand your eyewear prescription so you can ensure your eyes are getting the proper treatment and attention they deserve.