Blurry vision with new glasses? Learn about the adjustment period

So, you’ve just gotten your hands on a new pair of glasses. Of course, you’re excited to try them. You put them on and… oh, no… your vision is kind of blurry. Is something wrong with your new spectacles? These glasses are supposed to help you see better, so why is your vision not sharp? Why do you feel a bit dizzy? Why is it that you can’t focus well and your eyes hurt a bit? We’re here to tell you about an important fact that people with new glasses often don’t realise: the adjustment period! Whether you've never worn glasses before, or you’ve just switched to a new pair, or your prescription has changed, you will always need to get used to your new glasses. You know how you have to break in new shoes? Well, things aren’t any different for new glasses! Let us explain what could be going on and how you should approach the situation.

New glasses and headache

What kind of issues are you experiencing?

You may think you’re the exception but there are plenty of problems that might occur the first time you try on new glasses. We’ll go over how long these could last a bit later but, firstly, do any of these symptoms sound familiar:

  • Your vision is blurry or distorted. You may not see everything clearly. For example, objects may appear to be misshapen, you can’t quite gauge depth properly, the edges of your vision seem bent as if you’re in a fishbowl, etc.
  • Your eyes and head hurt a bit. You’re straining your eyes because things seem different, which in term could lead to headaches and some nausea.

Though not everyone experiences these symptoms to the same extent, they may make you wonder whether there’s a problem with your glasses. In most cases, however, there is a reasonable explanation for all of this.

Why are the issues happening?

There are a number of reasons why any of these initial problems can occur. And no worries, we’ll tell you about how they can be fixed further down in this article.

  • Your brain is simply not used to your new vision:
    Your brain is capable of so many things! When we don’t see well or when we’ve lived a certain way for a while, our brain fills in the blanks and makes corrections, without us really noticing. So, if you’ve never worn glasses, or if you’ve been using old glasses or lenses for a long time, or even if you’re used to a certain type of eyeglass frame, your brain adapts so you’d feel comfortable. Of course, your brain can’t actually correct vision defects but it makes it so that your current vision feels correct and normal. That’s why new glasses can suddenly feel “wrong”. Though this can happen for anyone when switching to new spectacles, it holds especially true for patients with progressive glasses that correct presbyopia.

  • Your prescription may be wrong or your glasses aren’t a good fit:
    Always make sure that you have an up-to-date prescription and that your glasses are made according to your exact measurements. This includes an accurate pupillary distance (PD) measurement, which is needed to centre the eyeglass lenses properly in the frame. If your prescription is slightly off and your glasses aren’t made right, you will experience vision problems. Before you jump to this conclusion, however, you should assume that your brain hasn’t gone through the adjustment period yet. When in doubt, our customer service team is always happy to help verify your prescription.

  • You might be suffering from a medical condition:
    In the rarest of cases, vision problems that persist may be the sign of an underlying medical condition, such as cataracts, glaucoma, etc. It’s also possible that taking certain kinds of medication can contribute to these issues. Stress is known to affect your vision as well, in some cases.

How can I fix these issues and how long will that take?

First, you have to give your brain the chance to adjust to new glasses. This is perfectly normal but absolutely necessary! Try to wear your new glasses as often as you can, if possible from the moment you wake up in the morning. Don’t switch back and forth between your old and new ones, don’t take your new pair off too quickly and don’t get too stressed. Of course, do not go through the adjustment period in situations where you need clear eyesight, eg. while driving or operating heavy machinery. Generally, this adjustment process can take about one week . There are some cases, mostly when it comes to users with progressive glasses or users who simply waited too long to correct their vision defects, where it can take up to 4 weeks.

Do the blurriness or headaches persist? In this case, it’s time to contact your eye care specialist. They’ll thoroughly check your eyes and your prescription. You can then also have your glasses checked for a potential manufacturing error.

Some final tips and advise

  • Try not to panic immediately. Please know that blurry vision with new glasses is extremely common. Whether it’s getting used to a new prescription, a new eyeglass frame shape or size, new lenses, etc. it will take some time. Your new glasses are not necessarily poorly manufactured. Your eyes are fine. If you respect the adjustment period, everything will be okay. And if the issues persist, your eye care specialist is there for you.
  • Do not neglect your eyes. People tend to forget that, just like the rest of our body, we need to regularly have our eyes checked by a professional. Make sure to schedule an eye examination every so often. Also, don’t wait to have any vision defects corrected. In the end, it’ll just take longer for your eyes to adjust if you ignore your problems for too long.
  • Seek advice to avoid frustration. Excitement about new glasses can turn into frustration quickly. So, talk to your optician or retailer and let them know. They’ll happily reassure you and tell you about the adjustment period. If this page hasn’t offered you any insight, please contact our customer service in case the adjustment period hasn’t worked out for you. We’ll do everything in our power to find a solution to your problems.