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Adapting to a new pair of glasses

All good things take time

For most people, it’s perfectly normal to feel strange with the new sensations of your new glasses. Adjusting to new glasses can take time for some people, depending on whether you’ve upgraded to a new prescription, a new lens design or if this is your first ever pair of glasses.

If you’ve never worn glasses before, simply having frames on your face may seem strange. In addition, adjusting to a new point-of-view and seeing the world in high-definition can often take a little getting used to.

For most, once the brain and the eyes learn new habits, the new sensations and high-definition vision will feel comfortable. This can often take couple of weeks.

It’s important to wear your new glasses continuously and try not to switch back to your old glasses; it’s tempting to “give your eyes a rest” from the new lenses, but only continual exposure will allow your eyes and brain to adjust to them.

Common talking points

The following are normal symptoms associated with your eyes adjusting to the new lenses. The good news is that these symptoms are only temporary and generally resolve quite quickly.

“Distorted or slanted vision”

“Mild headaches”

“Fish-bowl effect”

“Clear but uncomfortable”

“Eye strain or irritation”

“Prescription feels strong” 

“Objects feel closer or further away than usual”

These symptoms almost always relate to a change in prescription. Because your eyes have grown accustomed to your old prescription, or are so used to not having a prescription at all, any change in prescription will take some getting used to.

At your eye exam, the optometrist calibrates your vision extremely accurately, also taking into account where possible, any predictable future changes. So, whilst your new prescription may often temporarily appear worse than your old glasses while you are adapting, the new prescription will soon feel much better and will see you through until your next prescription change.


Progressive lenses (including “desk” and “indoor” mini-progressives)

Try to turn your head instead of only moving your eyes. A good rule of thumb is point your nose at what you want to look at, both side-to-side and up and down. This will take a conscious effort at first but you will soon get used to the movement, which will make the transition easier. Eventually, the vision in your progressive lenses will appear seamless as the required head-movement and position becomes subconscious. 

Did you know there are over 6000 points of prescription between the top and the bottom of a progressive lens? This allows you to see both the mountains (or the end of the room depending on your custom-lens design) and the newspaper with a flick of the eye. The downside is that to achieve this, we have to bend the lens, causing some peripheral distortion. So it is normal to see slightly fuzzy vision towards the periphery of the lens. To have the luxury of convenience, a pair of glasses that achieves multiple levels of vision, we have to accept some sacrifices, such as a wee bit of peripheral distortion. Rest assured though, this will become less noticeable with time as you learn to move your head and point your nose at what you’re looking at.

Use caution when walking down steps. Until you get used looking though the correct zone of your progressive lenses, having magnification at the bottom of your glasses can sometimes make objects appear closer than they are. This can be particularly difficult when walking up and down steps. Be sure to point your nose at the steps to avoid any unexpected surprises.

Single vision lenses (distance or reading)

These types of glasses have fixed focal points, which are calibrated to either your far-away, intermediate or up-close vision.

If you are over the age of 40 years, the effects of presbyopia mean your ability to be able to flex your focus to adjust for changes in distances with your glasses on becomes less, causing your fixed-focus lenses to have a reduced range of focus as time goes on. If you are getting frustrated with the on-off nature of your fixed-focus lenses, it might be worth talking to us about progressive lenses.

If you wear contact lenses, your vision in glasses is very different. This is because instead of correcting a round eye with a curved, round lens like your contact lenses, glasses correct your eye with a flat lens. This change in optics causes a “fish-bowl” effect to your vision for the first few weeks while your eyes and brain adapt to the new perspective.

Still struggling?

If after a period of two to three weeks you are still finding your vision in your new glasses is not natural and comfortable, please be sure to be in contact with us.

Your glasses have been custom-made and perfectly calibrated to suit your eyes, the way your brain makes sense of what you see, how you use your eyes and how the frame fits on your face.

So, naturally, due to the highly subjective nature of vision and the level of customisation of your glasses, if you are still experiencing troubles, please make some time with our Eyewear Specialists, who will check how your new frames and lenses are fitting you, how you are using your new glasses in your lifestyle and work environments, and sometimes also your check your prescription with the optometrist.