Does Pupillary Distance Have to Be Exact?


Pupillary distance – also known as interpupillary distance – is a measure of the distance between a subject’s pupils.


This measurement is factored into the creation of corrective lenses to help locate the optical center of the lenses. Millimeters are the measurement unit used as the industry standard.

The pupillary distance can be measured by machine – a “corneal reflex pupillometer” – or with a millimeter ruler by any optometrist or optical assistant. It can also be measured by you at home with a small ruler, if you’re careful. The pupillary distance measurement does not have to be 100% precise to be useful, as it can tolerate a fairly small error range. If you do measure your own pupillary distance, it is recommended that you try several attempts to be sure you get a fairly accurate measurement.

measuring ranges

To give you an idea of the kind of measurement readings you should get, here are the typical ranges for various groups:

  • Average pupillary distance for an adult is between 54-68mm, with acceptable measurement deviations generally falling in between 48mm and 73mm.
  • The range for children is approximately 41-55mm.
  • The large majority (95 percentile) of adult males in the USA have a pupillary distance of 70mm while a small minority (5 percentile) measure 55mm.
  • The range for adult females in the USA is between 65mm and 53mm.
  • For Europeans the figures equate to roughly 1mm smaller than the above measurements.

Precision in Pupillary Distance:
The Key to Clear Vision

Ensuring the accuracy of your pupillary distance (PD) is crucial when it comes to ordering prescription glasses. If you enter incorrect prescription information, including an inaccurate pupillary distance measurement, the consequences could affect your vision with the new glasses.

A precise PD ensures that you experience optimal visual clarity, and any deviation from the accurate measurement may lead to discomfort or difficulty focusing. It’s essential to provide the correct information, as mistakes in prescription details, whether from your optometrist or self-measurement, can impact the effectiveness of your new glasses.

At RX Safety, while we guarantee that your prescription safety glasses will be crafted precisely according to the specifications you provide, we emphasize the responsibility of accurate information submission. We cannot be held responsible for errors in prescription details, highlighting the importance of double-checking the measurements and ensuring the information aligns with your eye care professional’s recommendations.

Taking a moment to measure it accurately not only guarantees that your glasses align perfectly with your prescription but also enhances your visual experience and overall comfort. If needed, consider seeking assistance from another person to confirm the measure, ensuring the utmost accuracy for a seamless eyewear experience.


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If you find yourself with queries or require further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Feel free to contact us directly, or can leave a comment below.
We’re here to help and ensure your experience is seamless and satisfactory!

  1. Elaine says:

    I used an online tool to measure my pupillary distance. I’ve used it 6 times and 3 times it gave me 61mm, the other 3 times it said 61.5mm. Which one value should I use when ordering glasses online?

  2. Nee says:

    I have a cylinder measurement for one eye at -275 and the other at -225 on my last prescription. Does that sound right? Shouldn’t it be -2.75 and -2.25? Can it be as high as over 200??? Also, since my astigmatism is so bad, if I measure my PD and it is 1 mm off and my new lenses have that deviation, is that a bad thing?

  3. Mike Kearney says:

    Just ordered glasses online in France and was surprised to find that they measure PD for each eye, so I told them 35.5 + 35.5. But they also demand a photograph for verification. I guess they measure from the center of the bridge. Do they really need to be so precise?

  4. Ann says:

    Sounds like JT has a RETINA PROBLEM and needs to go to a retina specialist asap…. like NOW!

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