1.25 Eye Prescription

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Is a 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 example, someone with a -3.00 prescription has worse vision than someone with -1.25.

For some, 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. 

However, people who have a higher diopter number or astigmatism will probably need prescription lenses to correct the problem.

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What is a 1.25 Eye Prescription?

A 1.25 eye prescription refers to the power of the lens used to correct the problem. Depending on the needed vision correction, it can have a plus sign or minus sign preceding it.

Your prescription number will have a plus or minus sign in front of it:

  • (+) means you're farsighted 
  • (-) means you're nearsighted

The number, as opposed to the plus or minus, indicates the degree of vision correction needed.

How to read eyeglass prescription

Eye doctors use diopters to measure prism power or focal length. They then use that measurement to determine lens power and provide an eyeglass prescription. For example, a -1.25 eye prescription means you need 1.25 diopters to correct nearsightedness. 

This prescription may be for your right eye (oculus dexter, or OD) or left eye (oculus sinister, or OS).

Additionally, prescriptions include prism measurements. These are instructions to the eyeglass manufacturer on where to position the prism in the lens. They’re indicated by the following abbreviations:

  • BO (base out)
  • BI (base in)
  • BD (base down)
  • BU (base up)

Summary

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 cannot see clearly without their glasses.

Typically, bad prescriptions are those greater than +/- 5.00.

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. This occurs when the eye's cornea is misshapen, causing blurred vision.
  • Nearsightedness or myopia. This occurs when light entering the eye focuses incorrectly, causing distany objects to appear blurred.
  • Farsightedness or hyperopia. This occurs when light focuses improperly, causing difficulty focusing on near objects.
  • Presbyopia. This is trouble seeing close-up due to age-related eye changes.
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 changes 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 temptingto skip annual eye exams when your vision isn’t bothersome. This can be a mistake. In many cases, the sooner macular degeneration and other eye health issues are detected, the more effective the treatment.

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

Presbyopia

Over time, the shape of your lens changes. This can cause difficulty when focusing on close objects.

Floaters

Floaters are 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. Because of this, many people experience eye watering or tearing when exposed to wind, light, or temperature changes. Tearing can also be a symptom of an infection or a blocked tear duct.

Dryness

Mature 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
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal disorders
  • Corneal diseases
  • Eyelid problems
  • Temporal arteritis

Summary

A person with "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. For example, if you have mild myopia and hyperopia, bifocals can 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. LASIK can 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.

Summary

A 1.25 eye prescription means you need 1.25 diopters to correct your vision problem. This prescription is considered relatively mild, and you usually don't need corrective eyewear for it. However, different treatments are available for correcting a 1.25 eye prescription. Speak to your optometrist for additional information about correcting or improving imperfect vision.

Best Places to Buy Glasses

Best Overall

Warby Parker has stylish, high-quality frames at affordable prices.

Also Great

Liingo Eyewear is another great option to buy glasses online.

Best on a Budget

EyeBuyDirect has a wide variety of budget frames starting at $6.

Best Places to Buy Contacts

Best Overall

1-800 Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

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GlassesUSA has a huge selection of contacts, glasses, & sunglasses.

6 Cited Research Articles
  1. What Is Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2017.
  2. The Aging Eye: Preventing and Treating Eye Disease.” Harvard Health, 2022.
  3. Astigmatism.” American Optometric Association, n.d.
  4. Myopia (nearsightedness).” American Optometric Association, n.d.
  5. Hyperopia (farsightedness).” American Optometric Association, n.d.
  6. Refractive Errors.” National Eye Institute, 2022.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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