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What Is Your Pupillary Distance and Why Is It Important?

For people who wear prescription lenses, knowing your Pupillary Distance or PD, is necessary if you want to be able to see effectively. Simply put your PD or papillary distance, is the distance between the centers of your two pupils. This measurement tells the manufacturer of the glasses where the optical center of the lenses should be located.

Why is it important to specifically identify the optical center of your glasses? 

If the measurement for the optical center of your glasses are off by a fraction of an inch the entire balance of your eyes will be skewed. Imagine the feeling of your right eye never quite being able to truly focus, or the feeling that the vision of both eyes is different. This is what can happen if this measurement isn't 100% precise.

 Why is it then that your doctor never tells you about this very important part of your prescription?

Often times, your eye doctor will omit and leave out the PD measurements on your prescription.  This is not by accident. More and more eye doctors are omitting information that is necessary to fill a prescription if you don’t fill it right in their office.  Their fear is that you will take the prescription elsewhere, like an online website, and order your prescription frames for a fraction of what they would charge you in office. The measurement of the PD needs to be very precise so it is best left to an expert. To insure your PD measurements are most accurate, it may be best to have the actual frames with you that you plan to have made into prescription frames.  This will enable the person measuring the PD to even mark the frames if need be with a carbon tool or removable marker.

In closing, when you are receiving your prescription for eyeglasses from your eye care professional, please insist that they measure your pupillary distance and add it to the RX. That way,  you can utilize online retailers inherently lower prices for your next set of prescription eyewear.