10 Ways to Adjust to Your New Eyeglass Prescription

It’s normal for new eyeglasses to feel a bit strange at first, but don’t stress. Your brain (and eyes) will adjust. Here’s how to ease the transition period.

Person at the glasses store

Whether you’re wearing glasses for the first time or you’ve gone through a change to your vision, getting a new eyeglass prescription can bring your world into crystal-clear focus.

So why does it feel so weird?

It turns out there can be a bit of an adjustment period. Those first few days — even weeks — can be tough.

“Your brain has gotten used to walking around for months or even years in a blurry world,” says Whitney Wallace, O.D., an optometrist who practices at America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses in Bolingbrook, Illinois.

In other words: Because your brain has been trying to compensate for your poor vision for so long, it may take some time for it to realize that your new prescription can take it from here.

Older adults may have an even harder time adjusting to a new prescription. “It can be difficult, especially for older adults who may have never needed glasses before and have gotten used to walking around for years with blurry vision,” says Dr. Wallace.

No matter your age or stage of vision loss, try these expert-backed tips to make the adjustment period as seamless as possible.

Have questions about your eye health or vision? Your America’s Best optometrist is here to help. Click here to find an exam time that fits your schedule.

Tips for When Something Just Feels Off About Your New Prescription

An updated prescription can give you 20/20 vision. But being able to read the smaller letters on the eye chart doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have any issues adjusting to your new eyeglasses.

It’s common to feel a bit dizzy during the first couple of days of wearing new glasses. It might take your eyes a few moments to focus on what you’re looking at. If that sounds like you, these strategies can help ease the transition period.

Keep Your Glasses on Consistently

It’s normal to feel the urge to take your glasses off while you’re getting used to a new prescription. But doing so will only make the adjustment period last longer.

“If you keep taking glasses on and off or switch back and forth between your old and new glasses, your brain won’t be able to adjust,” says Dr. Wallace.

Try to tough it out and keep your glasses on, even if things feel a bit strange.

Make Sure You Have the Right Fit

It’s important for your eyeglasses to fit properly. “If they sit too high or low on your nose, then your vision will be affected,” says Dr. Wallace.

If your eyeglasses are pushed too far up your nose, for example, they’ll be too close to your eyes. And if they slip down, you’ll find yourself looking down to see through the lenses.

Frame fit is important, too. If your frame is too wide for your face, the lenses will cause more distortion of vision. Your optician at your local America’s Best store can examine your frames to make sure your glasses are the perfect fit.

Press play to see expert tips to help you find the best glasses for your face:

Recommended reading: How Do I Know if My Glasses Truly Fit?

Ease into Better Vision

There are some situations where it may make sense to hold off on ramping up your prescription right away, says Dr. Wallace.

“If a 40-year-old walks into my office for the first time and needs glasses to correct a lot of astigmatism, it might be very hard for their brain to adjust to that prescription if it’s thrown at them all at once,” she explains.

In those cases, Dr. Wallace says it’s okay to start with a prescription that’s slightly weaker than what you truly need.

“If we cut it back a little, it makes it easier for a person to adapt,” she says. “And then when they come back the next year for their annual checkup, we can increase it and get them even better vision.”

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Tips for When You Hit Your 40s and Things Start to Look Blurry

Sometime in your 40s, you may notice that it’s harder to read things up close, such as the newspaper or a restaurant menu.

That’s because of presbyopia, a condition where the lens of your eye stops focusing light correctly on your retina. That’s the tissue at the back of your eye that helps your brain make sense of what you’re seeing. Presbyopia is a normal part of aging that starts at around age 45.

Multifocal lenses can help solve this vision problem. There are:

  • Bifocals, which correct near vision on the bottom of the lens and distance vision on the top.
  • Trifocals, which are similar to bifocals but also correct middle-distance vision in the middle of the lens.
  • Progressives, which are multifocal lenses that don’t have a visible line like bifocals and trifocals do. Instead, there’s a seamless increase in magnification from the top to the bottom of the lens.

Not surprisingly, these types of lenses can be hard to adjust to. Some people complain of nausea, headaches, and loss of balance while first wearing them. These tips may help.

You have choices when it comes to your lenses! The eye care specialists at America’s Best can help you find lenses that are right for your prescription and your lifestyle. Explore our lens options here.

Train Your Eyes

The biggest hurdle with multifocal lenses is learning where to look through the lens — and when.

“It’s confusing at first, because you need to look down with your eyes when you read with these sorts of lenses, but you need to keep your eyes straight ahead and move your head when you walk,” says Dr. Wallace.

Otherwise, you may have a tough time judging distance or depth. That means you could trip or fall if you climb stairs or walk around someplace unfamiliar.

When you’re walking: Look through the top, or distance, portion of the lens.

When you’re reading: Look through the lower, close-up section of the lenses, point your nose toward the page or screen, and adjust your chin up or down until you can see clearly.

Take a Break if You Need To

It’s a good idea to keep your glasses on while you’re trying to adjust to a new prescription. That being said, you don’t have to keep them on if you start to develop a headache or feel queasy.

Remove your glasses and put your old pair back on — or don a pair of over-the-counter reading glasses if you need to look at something closely. You can try again later.

It may take up to a week to adjust to the new type of lenses. If you’ve given it at least a week and you’re still experiencing headaches or other discomfort, your lens prescription may need a slight tweak. Stop into America’s Best to have the opticians take a closer look. Our optical experts can help you pick the best type of lenses for you, to make your adjustment period easier.

Tips for When Your Young Child Is Struggling with Their New Eyeglasses

“Young children actually tend to adjust to wearing glasses fairly easily,” says Dr. Wallace. Oftentimes, it’s because they realize that when they wear them, they can see better, so they’re more inclined to keep their glasses on.

But not every child is the same. Many young kids have gone their entire lives with blurry vision, so it may take their brains and eyes some time to catch up to a new prescription. Here are some ways you can help ease their adjustment period.

Praise Them

When your child puts their glasses on for the first time, shower them with praise, says Dr. Wallace. Tell them how great they look or compliment them on how well their glasses match their clothes.

If your child only wants to wear their eyeglasses for short periods of time, praise them every time they wear their glasses for a little longer.

Remind Them Why Eyeglasses Are Important

Eyeglasses might feel awkward to children who have never worn them before. After all, the world around them looks entirely different, and there’s a new piece of equipment on their face.

But their eyeglasses serve a very important purpose. “Remind them that their glasses make their vision better, which will make it easier for them to do all the things that they enjoy,” says Dr. Wallace.

If your child is an athlete, avid reader, or artist, they need to wear their eyeglasses so they can do what they love.

Be a Role Model

Do you wear glasses yourself? Make sure you put them on so your child can see that you are wearing them.

Ask other family members and friends to do the same, too. Point out to your child how many of their friends and teachers also wear glasses. And point out people on TV or in movies who do, too.

It can be intimidating to wear a new accessory. Seeing how many other people wear glasses may help your child feel less alone.

Get a Glasses Strap

The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus recommends glasses straps to help keep your little one’s glasses securely on their face.

Another option are ear grips, or silicone temple tips, which slide onto the arms of the glasses and prevent them from sliding forward or falling off.

Recommended reading: Gear That Will Make Your Vision Clear

Enlist Your Optometrist for Help

If your child still struggles to wear their glasses after a week or two, bring them back to the optometrist for a follow-up visit.

“We can confirm that the glasses are the correct prescription and fit,” says Dr. Wallace. (It also may help to have another authority figure back you up.)

See our sources
Presbyopia overview: National Eye Institute
Different types of eyeglass lenses: National Eye Institute
Pros and cons of progressive lenses: American Academy of Ophthalmology
Tips to help your child keep their glasses on: Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Kids’ glasses overview: American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus