Updated on  February 22, 2024
5 min read

Is 1.25 Eye Prescription Bad?

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

1.25 power lens correction is relatively mild. The number on corrective vision wear indicates the severity of a person’s sight, with higher numbers indicating worse vision.

For example, someone with a -3.00 prescription has worse vision than someone with a -1.25. Many individuals with 1.25 vision don’t require prescription eyewear.

Individuals with 1.25 vision may opt for over-the-counter “reader” glasses to enhance their vision. However, people with a higher diopter number or astigmatism will probably need prescription lenses to correct the problem.

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:

1. 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.

2. Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses

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.

3. 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.


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.

5. 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.

Where to Buy Glasses + Contacts

Best Overall: Warby Parker

Fastest Delivery: EyeBuyDirect

Also Great: Liingo

Best Place to Buy Contacts: Discount Contacts

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 can’t focus light on the retina’s distant objects, usually the cornea and the lens. This is called a refractive error.

There are several different kinds of refractive errors, including: 

  • Astigmatism. Occurs when the eye’s cornea is misshapen, causing blurred vision
  • Nearsightedness or myopia. Occurs when light entering the eye focuses incorrectly, causing distant objects to appear blurred
  • Farsightedness or hyperopia. Occurs when light focuses improperly, causing difficulty focusing on near objects
  • Presbyopia. Trouble seeing close-up due to age-related eye changes
graphic comparing normal vision, myopia refractive error, and hyperopia refractive error

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 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

What is a Diopter?

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 requires 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. The following abbreviations indicate them:

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

How Is Visual Acuity Tested?

An optometrist measures visual acuity using an eye chart and other tests.

The most common type of visual acuity test is the Snellen chart. This chart measures how well you can see at different distances.

To take the test, you’ll be asked to cover one eye and read letters on the chart from top to bottom. Your results will be noted as a fraction, with the top number representing the distance.

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 you should take eye care seriously and visit an eye doctor regularly, even with healthy vision. It’s tempting to skip annual eye exams when your vision isn’t bothersome. However, doing so can be a mistake.

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 is a refractive error that makes it difficult for you to see things up close. This happens to middle-aged or older adults because the lens stops focusing light correctly on the retina.

This is a normal part of aging; everyone gets presbyopia as they age. In some cases, you may develop other refractive errors besides presbyopia.


Floaters are specks or spots that appear in someone’s field of vision when there is nothing there. They can also appear as threads, squiggly lines, or little cobwebs.

They usually aren’t serious and usually don’t require treatment. However, it can be a retinal detachment symptom when paired with light flashes. Tell your eye doctor if you start noticing floaters that don’t go away.


Tearing or watery eyes happens when something causes you to make too many tears. This is also referred to as epiphora and often occurs when your eyes are exposed to:

  • Wind
  • Light
  • Temperature changes

Tearing can happen for many reasons, including increased eye sensitivity caused by aging. It’s a temporary condition that typically doesn’t require treatment.

However, it can also indicate serious eye infections or blocked tear ducts. Visit your eye doctor if you’re constantly watering or having trouble seeing.


Mature tear glands don’t lubricate as well as they do when we’re younger. Keeping our eyes moist as we age prevents itching, burning, and potential vision loss.

Other Serious Eye Conditions

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

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


A 1.25 eye prescription is not bad; it’s considered mild, and some people won’t need prescription eyewear. However, there are different treatment options available for correcting 1.25 vision.

Bad eyesight is typically defined as being unable to see clearly without glasses. Refractive errors in the eye usually cause this and happen when you get older.

Because visual acuity declines as you age, annual eye exams are important to ensure healthy vision. This also helps you avoid long-term risks from bad eyesight.

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

Discount Contacts is our #1 recommendation to buy contacts online.

glasses usa logo
Also Great

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

Updated on  February 22, 2024
6 sources cited
Updated on  February 22, 2024
  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.
  4. Myopia (nearsightedness).” American Optometric Association.
  5. Hyperopia (farsightedness).” American Optometric Association.
  6. Refractive Errors.” National Eye Institute, 2022.
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.