For many people, selecting a new pair of glasses is like shopping for jewelry or clothing -- as eyeglasses are as much a fashion statement as a visual necessity. But getting used to a new pair of glasses is not always easy. Sometimes adjusting to a new prescription, or even different frames, can take a little time. However, if the eyeglasses fit well and the change in prescription isn't significant, most people adjust to their new glasses within a few days.
While it's important to have an optician take measurements before ordering, so your new glasses fit your face, have your optician adjust and optimize the fit before you take your new eyeglasses home. These minor tweaks can eliminate the discomfort common with new glasses, including the fit on your nose and behind your ears.
Understand your corrective lens prescription, so you know what to expect. If you have single-vision lenses, which correct vision for reading or distance only, you may find it's easy to adjust to your new glasses. But it may take a little more time to adjust to multi-vision lenses, such as bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses, which correct more than one type of vision abnormality in the same frame.
Wear your new glasses all day. If you have any problems getting used to your new frames or lenses -- such as a headache, itchy or sore eyes, or dizziness -- take the glasses off until the symptoms go away.
If you are wearing multi-vision lenses, try moving your head to improve focus instead of only moving your eyes. This can take practice, and can be challenging if this is your first pair of multi-vision lenses, but in time you should get the hang of it.
Don't wear your old glasses anymore, so you can more easily get used to the fit and prescription of your new glasses.
Keep your glasses clean, and protect your eyeglasses by storing them in the case overnight. Bent frames or scratched lenses will make the adjustment period more challenging.
Adjusting to a stronger eyeglass prescription can be challenging for older people, especially those with mobility challenges or anyone at risk for falls. In these situations, more gradual adaptation to new glasses may be recommended, and precautions are needed to prevent falls when walking, taking the stairs or walking on uneven surfaces.
In general, wearing glasses should be comfortable, and adaptation to new lenses should not take long. If discomfort, blurry vision, headaches or dizziness continue for more than two weeks, see your optometrist.
Reviewed by Kay Peck, MPH RD