Adjusting To New Glasses: What To Know

A Whole New View

When it’s been years since your last eye exam or glasses upgrade, this experience can be a bit overwhelming. There is a certain shock that comes with realizing how much your vision has changed, and it’s frustrating having to adjust to new eyes–even if it is a blessing too. In this adjustment period, things may not appear that great, but don’t let this scare you. It’s normal, and eventually, your new eyeglasses will feel much more natural.

Trust us. It’s all worth the adjustment.

Vision and the Brain

Our process of seeing actually happens largely in the brain, as the eye takes in information and sends it there, where it is then perceived and interpreted. When getting a new prescription, it can take the brain-vision connection some time to adjust to a new pair of lenses–something that also depends on other factors.

Change of Frame

When changing glasses or even getting them for the first time, you’re not only adjusting to the lenses, but you’re adjusting to what’s bordering your line of sight as well. Whether you’re used to smaller frames, bigger frames, or no frames, it’s quite a hindrance to your peripheral vision. If you’re going from small to large frames, it’ll be a nice expansion of the visual field, while going from larger to smaller might feel…a little claustrophobic, but only briefly.

It’s also possible that your new frames might not be fitted correctly. It’s important to speak up about what’s uncomfortable. You have to live with these days, so be sure to let your optometrist or optical specialist know if something’s not quite right–especially if you continue to readjust them on your face multiple times a day.

Getting Through the Initial Discomfort

It really depends on your prescription, but the best way to get adjusted to your new glasses is to simply wear your new glasses as long as you can. That is, without switching back and forth between your old glasses and new ones; this just slows down the process and can negatively affect your eyes. My advice is to fight through the temporary discomfort.

Adjusting To Your New Glasses Takes Time

While the initial discomfort is inevitable when you adjust to new eyeglasses, stay aware of how your eyes are responding. Are they itchy? Red? Sore? Blurry? If so, remove your glasses and close your eyes, resting them for about 10 minutes. This doesn’t mean something’s wrong; it could just mean that your new prescription is a drastic change from your previous one or lack thereof. Of course, if problems continue, contact your doctor; they know your eyes best.

Keep in mind that, up until now, your eyes have been working very hard to see, and now, they’re learning to relax and not exert so much energy squinting. That’s actually the strangeness and “adjustment” you’re experiencing: your eyes relaxing. Be patient and let your eyes learn to rest. This can take nearly 2 weeks and sometimes more, depending on the severity of change. Stay in touch with your doctor, and keep track of how you’re feeling and seeing.