How to Adjust to New Glasses

Dr. Russel Lazarus, February 15, 2021
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Have you ever put on a new pair of glasses for the first time, and noticed that your vision was blurry or making you feel dizzy or disoriented?

Adjusting to new eye glasses or new optical lenses can take some time. Though it is important to understand that this is completely normal and even to be expected— especially if your prescription has changed.

However, if this adjustment period lasts longer than a couple of days, it may be a good idea to contact your eye doctor to make sure that your new specs contain the correct prescription and that they fit your face properly.

Your eye doctor will measure your new glasses to ensure they fit correctly and comfortably on your face and that your lenses are both the correct prescription and properly positioned in their frame.

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How long will it take to adjust to your new prescription?

Adjusting to your new lenses can take a few hours to a few days, and in some cases, up to two weeks— depending on the strength of your new optical prescription.

Moreover, if you opted for a different style frame this time around, or decided to go with a smaller or bigger frame, your eyes may need some time to adjust to their new way of seeing— increased or decreased peripheral vision can take some time to get used to.

In addition, multifocal lenses which contain three different optical prescriptions— for near, intermediate and distance vision— tend to be harder to adjust to than regular single vision lenses.

Visual symptoms you may experience

Common symptoms when adjusting to new glasses include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye strain
  • Poor depth perception
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Headaches
  • “Barrel distortion”-objects seem distorted
  • “Fishbowl effect” -visual field looks as if it is being bent along the edges

Barrel distortion is common among people who wear high plus lenses, while fishbowl effect is common among those who wear high minus lenses. 

When to contact your eye doctor

If your eyes are taking a while to adjust to your new lenses, and dizziness, headaches or blurry vision persist for longer than two days, it is recommended to contact your eye doctor.

Your eye doctor will be able to check your glasses to ensure that they are sitting properly on your face and that they contain the correct optical power.

Buying glasses or contact lenses online

Purchasing your glasses or contact lenses online may seem convenient and may sometimes save you a few dollars, but it is not uncommon for errors to occur during manufacturing.

Up to 40 percent of lenses purchased online are manufactured inaccurately.

If you are finding it difficult to adjust to a new pair of glasses, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

Clear and comfortable vision is essential for optimal performance and quality of life.