Problem With New Glasses

You just picked up your new glasses- how exciting! But, when you get a new pair of glasses, especially if this is your first pair or you had a change in prescription, there may be an adjustment period before your vision seems clear and comfortable. Blurry vision, feeling dizzy, or headaches are common symptoms when adjusting to new glasses. If you are having any of these issues, let your eye doctor know. They will probably suggest giving it a couple of weeks to try to adapt first. 

So, how long does it take to adapt?

In most cases, it will take just a few days to a few weeks for your brain to adjust to the new prescription. This is called neuroadaptation. Sometimes even if the prescription hasn’t changed, a different frame or lens material can cause your vision to seem different at first. How significant your prescription is and whether the lens is made with premium optics or basic polycarbonate lenses can all impact how long the adjustment will take. Progressive lenses in particular are the hardest to adjust to due to the soft focus in the periphery. I educate my patients to expect this when they first try progressives. One tip is to point your nose at what you need to look at. 

What are some symptoms of adaptation?

  • Eye strain
  • Headache
  • Difficult with depth perception
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Objects appearing distorted or bent

Why does new glasses cause a headache?

Your eye muscles and brain and working really hard to adjust to the new lens which can cause headaches. Your brain has to try to create a clear image from what its receiving from your eyes which causes extra brain activity which can lead to a headache. 

Why do you feel dizzy with new glasses?

Anytime you have any issue with depth perception, you may feel dizzy or nauseous like you have motion sickness. This can be brought on by your brain trying to understand how to interpret the new images it’s receiving. 

Tips for getting used to new glasses

  • Gradually increase wear time with new glasses. If my patients are struggling to adapt a lot of times, they just will refuse to wear the new glasses. Avoiding them won’t help. The best way to train your eyes to get used to the new prescription is to wear them. You can start by just wearing them for a few hours a day and gradually increase how long you wear them. 
  • Keep your glasses clean. This may seem like a no brainer, but dirty lenses can make your vision blurry. Make sure to use a soft microfiber cloth and lens spray to remove smudges and dirt. 
  • Protect your glasses. When you aren’t wearing them, keep them in a hard case. If the frame becomes warped, then they are no longer adjusted accurately for your face, and it may not line up with your eyes appropriately. If you feel like the frames aren’t lining up right, we should be able to adjust them and make it better easily. 
  • Buy frames that fit your face shape and head size. This is a big one! Especially with bifocals, if the lens is too small it may cause issues with focusing. 

When should you contact your optometrist?

Adjusting to new glasses can be a pain, but fortunately it does end! I tell my patients that if they are still experiencing issues with the new glasses after 2 weeks, it is time to come in for a recheck. Don’t just suffer through it without letting us know. New glasses that don’t work aren’t good for you or for us so please don’t hesitate to call us with any problems!

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