Are Eyeglasses and Contact Lens Prescriptions the Same?

Nov 1, 2023 | Fashion Eyewear

If you’re someone who wears eyeglasses and is thinking about switching to contact lenses, you may be wondering if the prescriptions for both are the same. Many people assume that the prescription will be the same, but this is not the case. Understanding the difference between eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions can help you get the best vision care possible. 

Glasses vs. contact lens prescriptions: what’s the difference? 

Eyeglasses and contact lenses have the same purpose: to correct your vision. However, they do it in slightly different ways. Contact lenses sit directly on the eye, while eyeglasses sit about an inch away from the eye. Because of these differences, you can’t use the same prescription for both eyeglasses and contact lenses. 

Different measurements  

One of the main differences between eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions is how the measurements are taken. When you get a prescription for eyeglasses, it includes measurements for the distance between your pupils and the distance from your eye to the lens. However, contact lenses require extra measurements for the size and curvature of the lenses. This is because contact lenses sit right on your eye and need to fit perfectly to effectively correct your vision without damaging your eyes. 

Lens strength 

Another key difference between eyeglasses and contact lens prescriptions is the strength of the lenses. Glasses sit slightly away from your eyes, which means the lens strength depends on the distance between the lens and your eye. When wearing contact lenses, the lenses sit directly on the surface of your eye, so the lens strength has to be adjusted accordingly. 

Getting your prescription 

If you’re looking to purchase new eyeglasses or contact lenses, you will need to visit an eye doctor for an eye exam. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may need separate prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses. It’s essential to follow your doctor’s instructions to ensure clear, healthy vision. 

In conclusion, if you’re someone who wears eyeglasses or contact lenses, it’s crucial to understand the difference between the two types of prescriptions. They may seem similar, but they are specifically written to fit the curvature of the lenses that they are meant for. 

Primary Eye Care of Arlington and South Main offers both comprehensive eye exams and contact lens exams and can provide you with the correct prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and let us help you improve your vision.