Is there an adjustment period for new glasses?

girl wearing glassesMy friend, Lisa, has been putting off getting an eye exam for too long. She bought some drug store readers to help her get by (which I told her was a horrible idea, but she’s stubborn!) She finally broke down and got a full eye examination and a new pair of eyeglasses last week. She’s amazed at how well she can see now! Like most people, she experienced an adjustment period when she started wearing her new glasses. Since I’ve been wearing glasses as long as I can remember, she asked me, “How long does it take to adjust to my new glasses?”

Adjusting to new glasses can take a few days if you wear your glasses consistently. If you only wear your glasses at night or on the weekends, it may take up to two weeks to adjust. This adjustment period is normal for someone with single vision lenses. For others with new bifocals or progressive lenses, the adjustment period to new glasses can be longer. If you don’t adjust to new glasses or a new prescription in two weeks, visit an optometrist to discuss your best course of action.

Why is there an adjustment period when you get new glasses? 

If you’re like Lisa, your eyes may have adjusted to NOT seeing well. You may feel uncomfortable with the new prescription and your vision may seem distorted at first. This is because your eyes aren’t used to relaxing with the correction you need.

This can happen when you get new glasses with a stronger prescription. You’ve grown used to the older prescription. When you do get new glasses, don’t switch back and forth between your old and new glasses. Wear the new ones so your eyes can adjust.

You may be adjusting to a new frame or the way it fits, rather than a new prescription. Did you recently transition from single vision lenses to bifocals? Your biggest adjustment will be training your eyes to look through the correct part of the lens.

All of this can feel overwhelming during the first day or two. After three days of continuous wear, your transition will be easier. If you’re still having problems after a week of wear, go talk to your optometrist, to make sure your glasses are adjusted correctly and that you have the correct prescription.

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