How Long Does it Take for Eyes to Adjust to New Glasses?
The adjustment period may also differ depending on the frequency of use. For example, glasses used for specific tasks, such as reading or working on a computer, may have extended adjustment timelines.
Sometimes, you may only need to adjust to how the new set feels on your face. But in many cases, several vision issues are involved.
Although adjustment issues are normal, consult your doctor if you don't see any improvement, have persistent headaches, or if your vision worsens.
Reasons for Adjustment with New Glasses
Adjustments are common whether you're a beginner or a long-time user of prescription lenses. This is especially true when you've just replaced your glasses.
Depending on your prescription requirements as well as your personal preferences, your eyes may have to adjust to:
- A new frame style, such as changing from a rectangular to a round one
- New lens types, such as bifocals (they have distinct areas of near-and-far-vision within the same lens)
- New prescriptions, such as when your optometrist increases or reduces lens power
- A new tint
Common Adjustment Symptoms with New Glasses
Below is what you may experience as your eyes adjust to these changes:
- Blurry/distorted vision. You may experience halos, waves, irregularities, or out-of-focus visual images.
- Poor depth perception. Difficulty determining how near or far objects are.
- Eye strain. Your eye muscles may overwork while adjusting to the new conditions.2
- Headaches. Sometimes, tight frames can cause tension headaches due to pressure exerted on the temples.
- Nausea/dizziness. Change in depth perception or your brain needing to adapt to a new image can cause nausea and dizziness.
- Fishbowl effect. Images appear bent along the edges, as though you're viewing them through a fishbowl.
8 Tips for Adjusting to New Glasses
For the most part, adjusting to new lenses has no real dangers.
However, be careful when working on tasks requiring high concentration and good vision.4 This includes driving, walking up or down stairs, or operating dangerous machinery.
Below are additional tips to help you adjust to new prescription lenses:
1. Wear Them Frequently
The best way to adapt your eyes to the new pair is simply wearing them.
The adjustment process may be unpleasant, but avoiding your glasses won't help the situation. If you're a beginner, you can start wearing them for an hour or two a day and increase the period gradually.
2. Clean Them Regularly
Dirty lenses may cause blurry vision, halos, and other vision issues, making the adjustment period stressful for your eyes.
Use a microfiber cloth and lens spray to remove smudges, spots, and dust.5 Do not use a paper towel or rough fabric, as this may cause scratches.
3. Keep Them Secure
Your new prescription glasses will likely come in a case. Keep them in the case when not in use to prevent damage from bumps and falls. Also, avoid wearing your glasses when involved in high-contact activities such as contact sports.
Remember, your glasses and frame are uniquely adjusted to your face and pupil position. Any pressure or impact can cause misalignments and adjustment issues.
4. Exercise Your Eyes
Like body muscles, your eye muscles also need exercise to adjust to new conditions.
For example, you can exercise your eyes if you experience eye strain while wearing your new pair at work. This alleviates discomfort by focusing on objects at varying distances. This method is most effective when dealing with multifocal and progressive lenses.
5. Rest Your Eyes
The solution to strained and exhausted eyes is rest. If your new glasses are causing strain or headaches, take them off and rest your eyes briefly before putting them back on.
6. Adjust Your Frame
Apart from the lens, the frame size, shape, or even weight can affect your adjustment period. For this reason, you need to invest in frames that fit perfectly on your head and face. Your optometrist can help with adjusting the frames.
7. Adjust Your Prescription
Sometimes, an incorrect prescription might be the cause of your adjustment issues.6
Incorrect prescriptions may occur due to diagnosis or manufacturer errors, and your eyes will not adjust no matter what you try. If you suspect a wrong prescription, your eye doctor can examine you and adjust it accordingly.
8. Take Painkillers
Headaches are common, especially for those wearing glasses for the first time.
Although a headache will disappear as your eyes adjust, taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate the pain and discomfort. Try pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Avoid wearing your old glasses at all costs. Going back and forth between the new and old glasses will affect the adjustment process and prolong it.
How Do I Know If My Prescription Is Wrong?
You will have trouble getting used to new glasses if your prescription is wrong. Your eyes won’t get used to wearing glasses if they are the wrong prescription, no matter how long you wear them.
You can usually tell if your prescription is wrong by looking out for these key signs:7
- Extreme blurry vision
- Seeing double
- Lack of focus
- Excessive eye strain
Contact your doctor if you’re worried that your prescription is too weak or strong for your vision. You may need a different type of glasses.
When to Call Your Eye Doctor
You should call your doctor if you experience severe and persistent headaches or dizziness. This could signal a problem with the prescription or a medical issue.
Eye experts recommend allowing at least 2 weeks for your eyes to adjust before seeking medical attention.
Similarly, seek medical advice if your eyeglasses or frame were adjusted but the issues persist for over a week.
Adjusting to new glasses can take some time. However, with the right practices and maintenance, you will adapt quickly.
If your eyes are still uncomfortable after two weeks of wear, contact your eye doctor immediately. They can examine the prescription and frame adjustment.
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