Adjusting to New Glasses

Many patients are perplexed about the issue of “getting used to” their new glasses, and we hope to shed some light on this subject for you. Although comparing our eyes to a camera is a helpful way to understand eyesight, human vision is in reality a marvelously complex system that is closely tied to our hearing and our balance systems as well.

“Eyesight” takes place or begins in the eyes, but “vision” takes place in the brain where all the various inputs are interpreted into what we “see.” Any change in that information transmitted to the visual part of the brain can result in some temporary adaptation symptoms which can include mild headache, focus adjustments, mild distortions, and/or mild balance disruption. As in all things related to our body and health, everyone is different in sensitivity, and the timing or severity of adaptation symptoms will vary with the individual, the amount of prescription change, the way the lenses are made, the frames, etc. Adaptation can take a few seconds, or it may take several days. A good rule of thumb to remember: we will want to hear from you if any symptoms persist beyond seven days. Our goal always is for you to enjoy the clearest and most comfortable vision possible.

It’s interesting to note that one’s visual system can adapt even to the “wrong” glasses or become thoroughly adapted to an outdated prescription. Then when changed to the correct updated prescription, the “right” glasses can seem temporarily “wrong” while the brain adapts to the new input.