fresnel stick-on prism

This is an adhesive prism that is stuck onto your glasses as a temporary method of fixing double vision. Prism glasses can be very effective for correcting alignment problems (diplopia).  However, prism glasses are expensive and notoriously difficult to get made correctly.  In some cases, I’ll prescribe a temporary “stick-on” prism. It is a clear sticker, similar to a fresnel lens, that is cut out to the size of your glasses and adhered to the surface of the lens. This is cheaper then getting new glasses and allows you to see if you will tolerate the prism correction before more expensive prism glasses are made.  The stick-on prism is somewhat unsightly, however, and not as clear as “normal glass” so is not a long-term solution.

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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

13 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. I am legally blind and suffer with double vision. My doctor is working with me on trying the prism lense. I was given the stick on to try, but it was placed on the outside of the glasses. Can the sticker be placed on the inside instead (so the ridges face my eye)? I feel it would be less noticeable but didn’t know if it supposed to be on the outside or inside.

    Thank you so much!

  2. Brenda, It’s been a while since I’ve attached a fresnel lens myself, but I don’ t think it matters what side of the glass the sticker is on.

    However, if you have a strong glasses prescription, the inside of your glasses may be more “curved” … making it harder to stick the prism on properly (so that it sticks).

  3. the lens should go on the inside, if you use warm water it will soften the lens and make it easier to stick to the glass lens. try not to remove and clean thes often as that will stop them from sticking in time. Also recement you obtain a soft childs tooth brush and each day clean the prisms as that will keep the clarity longer. I have also learned that some people like myself have to replace the stick on prisms more often that other people. I have been wearing 20 degree stick ons over a 10 degree glass for two years now. My bigger concern is the blind space that occurs between my distance and reading sections. It can cause you to walk into items directly in frount of you.

  4. There are air pockets in my prisms and I’m not sure if they were put on correctly. Are the ridges supposed to face my eyes on the inside or face the glass? I can’t see very well the way they are facing my face,I can feel the ridges. Thank you for any information.

  5. Don’t get me wrong doctor I don’t mean anything bad by anything I may write in this email. Unfortunately I think you all are all crazy when I read your responses. Having suffered a stroke and severe diplopia I have a prism which was cut correctly and placed on the outside of my lens. I had another ophthalmologist tell me that it was incorrectly placed and that it should go on the inside. My big mistake was listening to her. $50 later and after waiting a week for the prism , She cut the prism and placed it on the inside which caused my vision to be significantly worst and in fact would not correct my diplopia. With so minimal correction to my problem after four months I am getting a slightly weaker prescription, and the ophthalmologist swears after 20 years that she knows it’s supposed to go on the inside of the lens. Wrong! I’m going to pick up my new script today and I will not allow her to cut it and place it on the inside. I believe it has something to do with the angle of the ridges, not being an ophthalmologist myself I cannot explain the mechanics. However one thing I know for certain I can see better and can see a single image when the prison is placed on the outside not the inside.

  6. This is an update to a prior commet. I need 18 degree prism in the upper portion of my glasses. Last year the va was able to get that and also my bifocal both in the same glasses. No more stick on that do not last long and collect dirt. Some thing to think about.

  7. Reading these post, about the prisms not working well my first set were awful . it was tough to see and what I saw was distorted. The stick-on’s had been placed on the inside as recommended but not much help.
    Then we found out that the Dr. had placed them upside down!

  8. WOW! Thank you for your comments!!! I am told that I am in need of such a prism due to the double vision caused by M.S.. I had one years ago & when the double vision was absent, I got new lenses (without prism). Before viewing this site,I was wary of what the eye glass store was trying to sell me ( prism on outside of lens ). I will stick to what I had in the past (prism built IN lens). In this day & age IT IS NOT WORTH the agrivation of a ‘stick-on’ prism EXCEPT for the OPTOMETRIST!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  9. I am getting lenses with a prism placed in one lens. Does a ‘specialist’ in the store have to ‘cut’ the lenses for my frame or ANYONE who normally does this-DO THIS in the eyeglass store?

  10. I suffer from graves eye with double vision. I have been wearing the same fresnel prism for ten years now and it has stopped working, do they wear out over time.

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