Understanding OD and OS in Glasses Prescriptions

If you’ve ever glanced at your eyeglasses prescription and found yourself puzzled by the seemingly cryptic abbreviations OD and OS, you’re not alone. In the world of optometry, these two letters hold significant importance and are integral to understanding your prescription accurately. So, let’s unravel the mystery behind OD and OS and shed light on what these abbreviations truly signify.

OD: Right Eye

Let’s start with OD, which stands for “oculus dexter” in Latin, translating to “right eye.” When you see OD on your prescription, it indicates that the optical correction specified is meant for your right eye. Some eye care professionals might use “RE” (right eye) interchangeably with OD, making it more accessible for patients to understand.

OS: Left Eye

On the other side of the spectrum is OS, derived from the Latin term “oculus sinister,” meaning “left eye.” When OS appears on your prescription, it signifies that the optical correction provided is intended for your left eye. Similarly, your eye care provider might use “LE” (left eye) as an alternative to OS, simplifying the information for you.

OU: Both Eyes

Now that we’ve covered OD and OS, there’s one more abbreviation worth noting: OU. This stands for “oculus uterque” in Latin, translating to “both eyes.” When OU appears on your prescription, it means that the specified optical correction is applicable to both your right and left eyes. In other words, the prescribed lenses or treatment are meant to address any visual issues that affect both eyes collectively.

Zenni’s Prescription Scanner

Need more assistance? Try using our Prescription Scanner when you are prompted to enter your prescription. Simply take a picture of your glasses prescription, and we will do all the hard work for you, ensuring a seamless and accurate eyewear selection process.

In summary, comprehending the significance of OD and OS in glasses prescriptions is essential for managing your visual health effectively. These abbreviations, denoting the right and left eyes, empower you to confidently choose eyewear tailored to your unique needs. Simplify the selection process with Zenni’s Prescription Scanner, a convenient tool ensuring accuracy by interpreting your prescription effortlessly through a quick snapshot.

About the Author: Dr. Sophia Moh, OD, ABOC

Dr. Sophia Moh, OD, is an optometrist based in the Bay Area, California. She holds a doctorate from UC Berkeley School of Optometry and has worked in various eye care settings, including primary care optometry, general ophthalmology, community health clinics, and Veterans Affairs. Dr. Moh is dedicated to improving global vision health by making high-quality, affordable eyewear accessible to all. She is also a certified American Board Optician (ABO) and actively contributes to optical education through training and lectures.