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How to Measure Your Pupillary Distance (PD)

You’re not sure what pupillary distance is or how to measure it? This guide clarifies the matter for you and will teach you how to measure your pupillary distance in 4 easy steps!

How Do I Measure My PD?

We recommend getting your eyes examined by a professional to make sure you get the right PD measurement. But if for some reason you need to measure a PD yourself, follow the instructions below for the most accurate results.

  1. Find a millimeter ruler for measurements and a mirror or a friend.
  2. If using a mirror, try to look into the distance as you measure. If a friend is taking your measurements, try to look past them into the distance to avoid the result being too narrow.
  3. Hold the ruler against the bridge of your nose and line up the middle of your left pupil with the 0 line of the ruler. You can now measure the distance between your pupils!
  4. Measure across to the middle of your right pupil, still looking into the distance. Your PD should be between 46 and 74.
  5. Repeat these steps 2 to 3 times to get a consistent number.

Note that PD is measured in millimeters. If your ruler is in centimeters, you can convert it online, but don’t measure your PD in inches. It might result in a wrong conversion and your measurement won’t be accurate. If you measure your PD the wrong way, you won’t have the right lens placement.

What Is Pupillary Distance?

Your PD is the distance between the centre of each of your pupils. It is measured when you are looking straight ahead. This measurement helps to ensure that your prescription is properly centered for the clearest and most accurate vision.

Why is PD important and how does it affect your glasses?

Your pupillary distance measurement is an important part of your eyeglasses prescription. It ensures the correct placement of your lenses on your frames, which is a determining factor for your eyesight and health.

Your PD indicates the optical centre of your eyes, to make sure that your correction is right in front of your pupils. Doing so, you’re getting the clearest vision possible with your glasses.

What Is the Average Pupillary Distance?

Now that you’ve learned how to measure your pupillary distance, you want to make sure you got the numbers right. You can compare your measurements with the average PD measurement which is, on average:

  • 46mm to 65mm for adult women and,
  • 59mm to 74mm for adult men.

Where to Look for Your PD Measurement?

When shopping for your next pair of glasses, it is important to have all your prescription details handy to make the process quick and easy. If you have recently visited your specialist for a new eye exam, your PD should have been included with your refreshed script.  If you don’t see it listed, there are one of two possibilities:

The prescription you have is for contact lenses

Do you see measurements like “BC” (or base curve) and “Dia” (or diameter)? Is there a brand of contact lenses written out? If you do, you have a contact lens prescription.

This won’t work for glasses. Contacts and glasses measurements are different, and separate scripts are needed for each. We recommend that you contact your eye doctor to ask for your glasses prescription.

The PD was simply left off the prescription

If this is the case, we always recommend that you first contact your eye doctor to see if they have this measurement on file for you. If not, you could try to measure it yourself!

You’re Now Ready to Find Your Perfect Pair!

Now that you know how to measure your pupillary distance. Just fill in the right measurement details before checking out. Have your prescription ready and make sure your measurements are accurate before you start the process.

After measuring your pupillary distance, have fun figuring out what colors, frame size, and glasses shape would look good on you, using our new Virtual Try-On feature. There are many pairs out there that will look fantastic on you!