1.25 Eye Prescription

Vision Center is funded by our readers. We may earn commissions if you purchase something via one of our links.

What is a 1.25 Eye Prescription?

Not everyone has clear vision. Many people need glasses, contact lenses, or other corrective procedures to help with their far or close up vision. When a doctor writes a prescription to correct vision, it includes a number for each eye that is each broken down further into the SPH and CYL. 

How to read eyeglass prescription

When you look at your prescription, the important thing to know is the bigger the number, the stronger the prescription and the worse your eyesight. A 1.25 eye prescription refers to the power of the lens used to correct the problem. It can have a plus sign or minus sign preceding it based on the needed vision correction. However, the plus or minus does not indicate good vision versus bad vision. It’s the actual number, as opposed to the plus or minus, indicating the degree of vision correction needed.

Eye doctors use diopters to measure prism power or focal length in the right eye (oculus dexter) and left eye (oculus sinister). They then use that measurement to determine lens power and provide an eyeglass prescription. Additionally, prescriptions include prism measurements, which are abbreviated for base up, base down, base in, or base out.

Is 1.25 Eye Prescription Bad?

1.25 power lens correction is relatively mild. When it comes to corrective vision wear, the further from zero the number, the worse a person’s sight. For many, 1.25 would not warrant prescription eyewear. Many people with 1.25 vision might choose to wear only over-the-counter “reader” glasses to improve their vision.

In cases where a person receives a diagnosis of 2.25 or 3.00 or higher number, prescription glasses are needed to correct the problem.


A 1.25 eye prescription is not bad. It is considered relatively mild and some people won't need prescription eyewear for it.

What is Considered Bad Eyesight?

“Bad” eyesight means someone is unable to see clearly without their glasses. There are degrees of this, and typically, stronger prescriptions ranging from -3.00 to +2.00 are bad.

Problems with vision occur when the functional parts of someone’s eyes – the cornea and the lens – cannot focus light on the retina's distant objects. This is called a refractive error. There are several different kinds of refractive errors, including: 

  • Astigmatism occurs when the eye's optics are too powerful or too weak across one meridian, causing someone to see blurry. Astigmatism correction is based on the degree of astigmatism
  • Nearsightedness or myopia occurs when eye optics are too powerful
  • Farsightedness or hyperopia occurs when the eye optics are not powerful enough
  • Presbyopia occurs with declining lens flexibility due to age
graphic comparing normal vision, myopia refractive error, and hyperopia refractive error

Long-Term Risks of Bad Eyesight

Eye health issues are important at any age, but most people experience a decline in vision as they grow older. Over time, visual acuity declines. This is why we must make eye care and visits to the eye doctor or optician a priority throughout our lives, even with healthy vision.

It’s tempting when your vision isn’t bothersome to skip annual eye exams, especially during times like the COVID-19 pandemic. This can be a mistake. In many cases, the sooner macular degeneration and other eye health issues are detected, the more effective the treatment.

Warby Parker lets you select 5 frames to test out for 5 days and ships them to you—for free! Learn more about their Home Try-On Program.

Some of the most common age-related long-term risks include:

  • Presbyopia. Declining lens flexibility (eyes struggle to focus when switching from looking at objects near and far)
  • Floaters. Small specks or spots that appear in someone’s field of vision when there is nothing there. They usually aren’t serious but can be a symptom of retinal detachment when paired with flashes of light
  • Tearing. Eye sensitivity increases with age, and many people experience eye watering or tearing when exposed to wind, light, or temperature changes. It can also be a symptom of an infection or a blocked tear duct
  • Dryness. Older tear glands don’t lubricate as well as they do when we’re younger. Keeping eyes moist as we age prevents itching, burning, and potential loss of vision

More serious eye health issues that develop as you age include:

  • Cataracts. Cloudy areas on the lens inside the eye
  • Glaucoma. Damage to the optic nerve of the eye
  • Retinal disorders. This includes age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment
  • Corneal diseases. Redness, pain, wateriness, reduced vision, and halo effects caused by disease, infection, injury, toxicity, and anything else that might damage the cornea
  • Eyelid problems. Pain, itching, tearing, sensitivity to light, spasms, and inflammation are all more common with age
  • Temporal arteritis. Inflammation of the temple area accompanied by headache and painful chewing. Damage to the optic nerve may lead to permanent blindness


A person with a "bad" eyesight couldn't clearly see without glasses. This is usually caused by refractive errors. An annual eye exam is recommended to ensure healthy vision and avoid the long-term risks of bad eyesight.

Treatment for 1.25 Eye Prescription

Treatment is available for correcting a 1.25 eye prescription. The proper treatment varies from person to person, depending on their specific situation.

Some of the most common treatments for correcting vision problems include:

  • Over-the-counter magnifying glasses. These are non-prescription glasses available in strengths ranging from +.25 to +6.00. They magnify what someone is looking at, improving their up-close vision. Many people call these reading glasses and wear them as they age.
  • Prescription glasses or contacts. Not everyone opts for prescription eyeglasses with 1.25 vision, but it’s an option. Some people with mild vision problems choose prescription lenses because bifocals are an option and make switching from looking at things close up and far away easier.
  • Progressive lenses or multifocal lenses. These are glasses that offer a smooth transition between different focal lengths. They are worn by people in need of vision correction at all distances.
  • LASIK. A corrective laser surgery for the eyes. Modern-day laser treatment has the ability to correct vision problems up to +6.00 diopters of hyperopia, astigmatism up to 6 diopters, and nearsightedness up to -12.00 diopters.
  • PRK. Short for photorefractive keratectomy, PRK is refractive surgery. Like LASIK, it uses a laser to treat vision problems. It’s especially beneficial for people with dry eyes or thin corneas, which make them less-than-ideal for other laser vision treatment, including LASIK.

Speak to your optometrist for additional information about correcting or improving imperfect vision.

Vision Center Recommends Warby Parker

Warby Parker makes high-quality, stylish eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contacts. Their Home Try-On program lets you try 5 frames for free before ordering.

left pointing arrow icon

What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK. “What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 27 Sept. 2017, www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/photorefractive-keratectomy-prk.

Publishing, Harvard Health. “The Aging Eye: Preventing and Treating Eye Disease.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-aging-eye-preventing-and-treating-eye-disease.

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram