Most people who wear glasses are familiar with the excitement and confidence boost that accompanies wearing new specs for the first time. But sometimes there is an adjustment period before your vision is fully comfortable. Things may look blurry, or you may notice feeling dizzy after prolonged wear. Some of these symptoms can be a normal part of the adjustment period, but sometimes they’re a reason to contact your eye doctor.
When Will My Eyes Adjust to My New Glasses?
It can take a few days to a few weeks for your eyes and brain to fully adjust to your new eyewear, whether you are increasing your prescription or wearing eyeglasses for the first time.
Even if you are getting new glasses with the same prescription, different frames or lenses can alter your vision until you get used to the new frame style or lens type. The complexity of your prescription and whether you buy a lens with premium optics versus basic spherical lens or polycarbonate material all can affect the adjustment time.
Progressive lenses tend to be the most difficult to adjust to. This is related to the peripheral soft focus zones, which are much less blurred for customized lenses prescribed by your local optometrist.
What Are Some Possible Visual Symptoms I Could Experience?
Some common experiences shared by those adjusting to new eyewear include:
- Eye strain, headache
- Blurry vision
- Trouble with depth perception, nausea, and dizziness
- “Barrel distortion” — objects appear distorted, for high plus lenses
- “Fishbowl effect” — the feeling that your visual field is being bent along the edges as if you’re looking through a fishbowl, common in high minus prescriptions
Why Do My New Glasses Give Me a Headache?
Fatigued eye muscles can cause headaches. But your eyes aren’t the only things adjusting to your new lenses. Your brain is also working hard to create a clear picture of the messages it’s receiving from your eyes. This extra brain activity can sometimes bring on a headache, which should only last about a day or so.
Why Do I Feel Dizzy With My New Glasses?
Dizziness and nausea can be caused by problems with depth perception, similar to motion sickness. With motion sickness, you feel uneasy because your brain is having difficulty understanding the position of your body in relation to the space surrounding it. So when you wear your new glasses, your brain may need some time to understand how to interpret the new images it’s receiving, causing you to feel disoriented or dizzy.
When Should I Call My Eye Doctor?
When the adjustment period extends beyond a few weeks, there is a possibility that there was an error in the manufacturing of the lenses. Many people purchase eyewear from somewhere other than their eye doctor or order glasses online, and some studies have shown that up to 40% of online eyewear is made incorrectly or inaccurately.
It’s important to note that many offices may charge fees to check eyewear that is not made by them and that there may be fees for rechecking a patient’s refraction when glasses are made by another source.
Discomfort that lasts longer than a couple of weeks means it’s time to call your optometrist. Persistent symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or blurry vision can indicate that your glasses aren’t well suited to your eyes and need adjusting. Your optometrist will double-check the prescription of the glasses among other things to ensure that the new glasses are right for you.