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.
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.
To give you an idea of the kind of measurement readings you should get, here are the typical ranges for various groups:
If you recently had an eye exam and were given a written prescription, or have an older prescription on file, the prescription may already indicate your pupillary distance. If it does not, you’ll need to obtain that measurement. To do it yourself, follow these steps:
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