Prescription & Dispensing Advice - SureSpecs
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Prescription & Dispensing Advice

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Prescription details

prescription form with power (sph) highlighted
prescription form with cylinder (cyl) highlighted
prescription form with axis highlighted
prescription form with prism highlighted

Current regulation states that prescriptions must be less than 2 years old.

Visual Acuity is the standard of vision achieved with spectacles.

The first unit recorded is the sphere and can be plus (+) or minus (-).  It is an indication of the strength of the required spectacle lens note: plus and minus prefixes can and do get misinterpreted due to poor legibility resulting in incorrect spectacles. SureSpecs' opticians are specifically trained to identify any suspected anomalies.

Powers are for correcting astigmatism and can be plus (+) or minus (-) and similarly to overall power they can be easily misunderstood.

The axis represents the orientation of the cylinder and is usually set between 0 and 180. The position of the cylinder is essential for accurate vision and the avoidance of headaches and blurred vision associated with misaligned lenses.

Usually associated with the correction of an ocular motor imbalance caused by a weakness of one or more of the eye muscles. Note: Prisms can be set in varying directions and in combination. Incorrect set prisms can result in headaches, double vision and severe eyestrain. SureSpecs' opticians are specifically trained to identify any suspected errors thus ensuring essential prisms are correctly aligned in the finished glasses.

This power is for any near and intermediate correction that may be required, it is not the final power but has to be added to the distance element of the prescription. The amount that is added to the distance power is determined by where the wearer wishes to read or carry out near visual tasks. This may vary depending on the task ie reading, computing or specific tasks such as technical drawing/painting.

Note: SureSpecs' opticians will ensure that the correct power is added for the appropriate task.


This measurement indicates the distance at which the examination was conducted and is used in the corrected glasses to ensure they are positioned in the correct location.


The optician's understanding can make all the difference between a good pair of glasses and a great pair of glasses. It is here that the role of the optician is essential to ensure the glasses are dispensed as the prescriber intended.


Photochromic Lenses
Photochromic or light reactive lenses adapt to your lifestyle. They adjust from clear indoors to dark outdoors, providing protection from the sun's harmful UV rays. No matter where you are, or what situation you’re in, light reactive lenses adapt to the perfect shade, so you see well in all conditions.
Tinted lenses
These are permanently tinted to one shade and one strength and are used as sunglasses. They are normally brown or grey but are also available in green.


Polarised Lenses
These permanently tinted lenses are used to minimise distracting glare from reflecting surfaces. They are great for driving and outdoor sports.


Scratch-Resistant Lenses
Included as standard in all of our packages, lenses with this clear treatment have a much harder front and back surface that is much more resistant to scratching.


Anti-Reflective Lenses
An anti-reflective treatment (also called AR or anti-glare) eliminates reflections from the front and back surface of spectacle lenses. By doing so, your lenses appear nearly invisible, so people can focus on your eyes rather than distracting reflections from your glasses. With reflections eliminated, these lenses provide better vision for night driving and more comfortable vision for reading and computer use by improving contrast. Anti-reflective lenses are also oleophobic and hydrophobic, meaning they are smudge resistant and water repelling too.


Thinner Lenses
By using a special high index material, your lenses can be made thinner and lighter, which is great for higher prescriptions (we recommend thinner lenses if your prescription is over a +/- 3.00 sphere). Not only do thinner lenses improve the appearance of your glasses and make them more comfortable to wear, but they also give you a wider range of frames to choose from.




Single Vision

Used for either distance, reading/close work and/or intermediate vision.

Tinted lenses

Used to protect your eyes from sunlight, available in varying strengths and colours.


Used for distance and close work combined. There is a distinct line visible on these lenses.

Thinner lenses

Used for higher prescriptions to reduce lens thickness and make your glasses feel light.


Used for correcting distance, close work and intermediate distances without any visible lines.



Working out your face shape to determine what frame will work for you helps when choosing a pair of glasses, so have a look below at our guide to face shapes and frames, and this should help you to pick the perfect pair of glasses.


Six basic face shapes


Whilst most faces are a combination of shapes and angles - after all, each of us is unique - there are six basic face shapes with which we can start the dispensing process:





Pick glasses with curves and no wider than your cheeks. To enhance the eyes, pick frames with detailing or distinctive brow lines.



Pick glasses a little wider than your forehead or that have distinctive brow-lines like cat-eye or Clubmaster style shapes, or even rimless styles. 



Select frames which are more rectangular to balance the roundness of your face and make it appear to be longer. 



Luckily, you can wear any style of glasses whether it be round frames, aviators or wayfarers as well as contemporary shapes.



Choose frames with gentle curves to compliment your broad and chiselled jawline, such as round, cat eye or aviator styles.


If you are wider at the cheeks and narrower at the forehead, choose frames that really emphasise your eyes like cat-eye shapes or strong brow lines.