How Long is a Reasonable Time to Adjust to New Glasses?

It’s an inevitable byproduct of a new pair of glasses: the dreaded “adjustment period.”

How Long is a Reasonable Time to Adjust to New Glasses?

How Long is a Reasonable Time to Adjust to New Glasses?A large majority of consumers who wear new glasses report some form of visual distortion. Sometimes the distortion is minor and subsides quickly; in other cases, it’s extreme and lasts a long time. So the titular question remains: how long is a reasonable time to adjust to new glasses?

The answer – like most answers concerning eyewear – is a bit complex, and depends on several variables, which we’ll examine below. First let’s list the reported symptoms associated with the wearing of a new pair of glasses:

  • Distorted vision
  • A “fish bowl” effect
  • A lack of ability to determine the actual distance of objects (they seem either farther away or closer than they really are)
  • Mild headaches
  • Eye strain or irritation

These effects are due to your eyes adjusting to new lenses. The primary and most common cause of distortion relates to a change in prescription. People often put off eye exams, and when they do have them performed, find that their prescription has altered somewhat. Usually the corrective diopter rating for your eyes – or just one of your eyes – changes as you age, and a slight increase in prescription for one or both eyes is required. To eyes that have grown accustomed to the lenses in your old glasses, any shift in prescription can cause visual distortion.

Another cause could be due to variations between the time you had your exam and the time you first put on your new pair of glasses. Your prescription needs actually fluctuate throughout the day, shifting with the condition of your eyes. “Fresh” eyes function differently than “tired” eyes. It’s recommended that you try to schedule your eye exam when your eyes are fresh, such as in the morning after a good night’s sleep, in order to obtain a good baseline reading.

Differences in frame styles and lens shapes can also affect your vision – frequently more than most people realize. Your eyes get used to the dimensions and boundaries of your old frames and lenses. When you change those dimensions you also change the curve of the lenses, the location of the borders that surround the lenses, etc. This throws off the comfortable and familiar dynamic that you (and your eyes) previously enjoyed.

A switch to a bifocal or trifocal can further complicate the matter. Any type of bifocal or trifocal gives your eyes workout, but progressives cause particularly aggressive distortion because they eliminate the “hard break” of a delineating line. Extra care should be taken when adjusting to new progressive lenses, especially with tasks like driving or walking down stairs.

So, how long is too long to adjust to new glasses? The good news on all the effects described above is that they are temporary. Most people get acclimated to their new glasses within 24-48 hours. It’s important to wear them continuously and not switch back and forth with older glasses; it’s tempting to “give your eyes a rest” from new and different lenses, but only continual exposure to the new lenses will allow your eyes to adjust to them.

Shop Prescription EyewearIf you still experience any appreciable distortion after several days, be sure to discuss the issue with your optometrist. If the situation persists, the problem is likely a faulty prescription reading, in which case a new exam may have to be performed, or a fault with the production of the lenses, in which case new ones must be obtained.

46 Responses to How Long is a Reasonable Time to Adjust to New Glasses?
  1. Nordlys
    April 29, 2015 | 1:57 pm

    I always took no time to adjust, except when, from -2,50 diopters, I had a new prescription of -4, in that case it took me few days.

  2. Geoff
    December 14, 2015 | 12:14 am

    Hi everyone,
    About six months ago I had an eye infection… Blepharitus in my left eye. The top eyelid developed a masive sty and I was out of action for probably a week.only going out with sunnies on to hide my inflamed eye. As it healed and time went on from 20/20 vision as a young adult to the age if 50 I’ve always had great vision. Now that I’m 55 and using iPads and small screen phones I’ve noticed a significant change… My right eye sees long distance very well and the affected eye sees short distance very well… Could this be the effect of the sty I wonder which is still a little hard to the touch… So obviously I want to keep this new short enhanced vision as it allows me to not need glasses.
    Please comment
    Regards
    Geoff Perth Aus

  3. Laura
    February 25, 2016 | 10:59 pm

    Hello, I recently got a new pair of frames, plus the prescription in my left eye increased a bit (0.25). However, my vision is worse with my new glasses! It’s hard to read things close and far now (i’m near sighted) and things seem a bit blurry. When I cover my left eye, everything looks good and normal. But when I cover my right eye, everything is quite more blurry. What is going on!?

  4. Lynda castell-blanch
    April 3, 2016 | 4:16 am

    But what about when you have THREE prescriptions….I have driving glasses for far away, reading glasses, and computer glasses…..I just got all 3 updated after 3 years and they are all bothering me this first day…..I have to switch glasses …at work, its computers, but when I’m correcting papers, I have to switch to the reading pair, then driving, the far away ones…..????

    • Judy
      August 5, 2016 | 3:30 pm

      Maybe you should do what I did and move to progressive lenses? You can have all of those zones in one lens. It takes a little getting used to, but you have a zone for far sight, computer distance, and reading. I also had a coating put on mine to reduce the eye fatigue from electronics, such as my computer. You might look into it. It beats having three pairs of glasses!

    • Patricia
      August 6, 2016 | 5:16 pm

      Hi Lynda, I have the same problem. I collected, at vast expense, my lovely new glasses today. Distance, near distance (Computer Screen) and Reading, all the same as you I believe. I cannot tolerate any of them! This has happened to me before, and if I wait at least six months, and then introduce the new specs this normally does the trick. I have to say here though, the size of the actual frame lens matters a great deal. I have changed all my glasses for totally different shapes this time!! Why can nobody get it right. I always ask for a lower prescription because I am one of those people who are hyper sensitive to change! Do not let any optician tell you different. Hope this makes you feel better knowing I am the same Patricia

  5. Sharon Haines
    April 21, 2016 | 12:57 pm

    I’ve been wearing this new prescription almost two weeks and I still can’t adjust to it. I’ve been back to the optometrist 3 times and he tells me the prescription is correct. He said to give it time. How long does it take? He said because I’m older it will take longer.

    • Ryan Phillips
      April 22, 2016 | 6:59 pm

      I would give it another week or two then go to another doctor. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  6. H M Rosa
    May 12, 2016 | 10:03 am

    I have a very high prescription(nearsighted) and just picked up my glasses today after one correction. They are better than when I first picked them up-no pain in left eye although right eye now not as sharp!? But I will give that a couple of days to allow for adjusting to different scrip. My real concern is the appearance! They have a noticeable ‘edge’ of light around each lens which is very unattractive. My previous glasses were clear throughout! What could be the reason? I did order an AR coating? Also ordered Transitions. But my previous glasses had all the same specs as well… Please give me your opinion on possibilities? Getting glasses is a major purchase($800+)with my vision and I’m stressed with the process…

    • Ryan Phillips
      May 12, 2016 | 2:17 pm

      It is an important decision, but you should not get too stressed out. It’s very hard for me to give my opinion because I don’t know what your prescription is, I can’t read the glasses, and everyone has a unique situation. I would say if you spent that much money I would try them for a few days. If the problem still exists, I would go back right away and talk to the optician and express your issue. Good luck!

  7. Jill Jackson
    May 19, 2016 | 12:50 am

    I have been wearing my trifocals for a year now and am still not adjusted. I keep headaches and severe vertigo. I was trying to find another reason for feeling like crap but my prescription is the only thing that has changed recently

    • Ryan Phillips
      May 19, 2016 | 2:09 pm

      Jill,

      Sounds like you have a relatively major issue. I can’t really help you, but I suggest scheduling an appointment with your eye doctor immediately. Or try a new eye doctor if you feel that they could be the issue.

  8. Luke Smith
    May 20, 2016 | 4:01 am

    I think this is something that I needed to read, I’ve thought the same thing myself. I always wondered was it every year, or every two years, or just when you notice it the most. The list of reasons to go is good like distorted vision or even mild headaches, that is what stood out to me.

  9. Samara
    May 29, 2016 | 1:22 am

    I just got new glasses… and my astigmatism changed in both eyes–drastically in my right eye. The first day wearing my glasses I got nausea to the point that I actually threw up. There are also purple and blue, sometimes red and orange lines when I look at light. Is this part of the adjusting process, or do I need to go back to the optometrist?

    • Ryan Phillips
      May 31, 2016 | 2:14 pm

      Samara,

      Everyone’s adjustment process is different but if you cannot take it anymore, I would go back to the optometrist. Otherwise, give it 7-10 days total and see if anything improves. Definitely seems like your prescription is a little off. Hope it all works out and you resolve the issue.

  10. Leeno
    June 3, 2016 | 4:24 am

    I only wear my glasses for driving at night or watching movies & TV. I recently got new glasses for the first time in over 15 years. Given that the prescription is stronger in each eye and I only wear glasses for an hour or so a day, I imagine I can expect the adjustment to last much longer. Any thoughts on how long? Should I wear my glasses longer each time to shorten this period?

    • Ryan Phillips
      June 3, 2016 | 3:21 pm

      The adjustment period shouldn’t be more than a few weeks. Wearing the glasses longer each time will definitely help the adjustment process & ease any eye strain you maybe experiencing.

  11. Debbie
    June 25, 2016 | 9:10 am

    I got my new glasses 2 weeks ago after having blurred vision and headaches, before having the headaches etc my vision was fine without glasses. I’ve been wearing these glasses for 2 weeks none stop and my vision is better while wearing them but then when I take them off at night my vision is really distorted. My prescription is totally diff to my last as its been brought forward 2 points. Is this normal when I take my glasses off and will this improve?

    • Ryan Phillips
      June 27, 2016 | 1:44 pm

      Debbie,

      This is normal because you are still in an adjustment phase. It should improve, however if this continues for another 2 weeks go ahead and schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Consult with them for your specific condition. Best of luck.

  12. Phillip Weeks
    July 1, 2016 | 1:19 pm

    I have been wearing my new prescription glasses for a week now when seeing far off my vision is not as sharp in reading signs and car lights have a star like imagine. I also see a blue like color on the top of the road. My up close vision is OK which that is why I got a check up. Reading the pc is ok now. Will my vision get adjusted or do I need to go back and see the doctor?

    • Ryan Phillips
      July 6, 2016 | 1:33 pm

      Give it another week before making a follow up doctor appt.

  13. Paila
    July 29, 2016 | 1:47 am

    Is it possible to get a prescription for +2.25, when my last pair were 3.0?
    I have worn them for 4 days and still can’t read a book. Just put my old glasses back on.

    • Ryan Phillips
      August 9, 2016 | 2:47 pm

      You should give your eyes at least a week or so to try and adapt to your new prescription. If after that period you do not notice any change in the clarity of your vision, I would follow up with your eye doctor. They can reexamine your eyes and make any necessary corrections to your prescription.

  14. Rohan Bhatia
    September 1, 2016 | 5:13 am

    When i switch from lenses to glasses i feel a little discomfort in viewing distant things. Could someone kindly advise whether it is normal or some kind of complications?

    Also does lens have -0.25 number less than the spectacles?

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 2, 2016 | 12:52 pm

      Hi Rohan,

      I too noticed that when I would wear contact lenses, I could see much farther than I do when I would wear my glasses. When I asked my eye dr about it, they said it has to do with the lens sitting on your eye whereas a pair of glasses it is sitting farther away so focusing is much different. All prescriptions work in quarter increments. So less than -0.25 would mean that there was no correction.

  15. Rick
    September 1, 2016 | 6:14 pm

    I have a strong prescription: -8.00. Can larger frames cause distortion? I have had these new frames for 2 weeks and I am still not used to them, especially when looking at things at a distance. The frames are a bit larger than what I am used to and I am getting the distortion/fish bowl effect. These are my second pair within the past month. The first pair were progressive lenses and I couldn’t get used to them so I went back to a normal lenses but things still aren’t quite right. I am thinking about returning these and replacing them with smaller frames. Any thoughts?

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 2, 2016 | 12:53 pm

      Hi Rick,

      If there is any type of curve to the lens, then yes it will cause distortion. The fishbowl affect is most common when it comes to any type of curved lens. I would go back to the place you had your glasses made at and see about getting a pair in a smaller, flatter frame. That should cut away from the issues you are experiencing.

      • Rick
        September 2, 2016 | 7:05 pm

        Thank you for the prompt response. There is definitely a curve to the lense. I am going to follow your suggestion and get a smaller, flatter frame.

  16. Jeannine
    September 15, 2016 | 5:20 pm

    I am prepping for visian ACL. I have been in gas permeable contacts for nearly 30 years with only wearing glasses an hour a day. My prescription is -12 and -14. I am wearing glasses that were prescribed for me a couple of months ago while still wearing my RGP regularly. I did ok with the glasses the first few days but things are becoming more blurry. Is it possible my prescription is changing due to my eyes reshaping from being used to RGP for so long? I have 4 weeks left with these glasses and it’s driving me crazy!!!

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 23, 2016 | 6:37 pm

      Hi Jeannine,

      This is really something you should address with your eye doctor. It is possible that your prescription could have changed, but it’s not likely. Another thing to consider is your vision will feel different when going back and forth between contacts and glasses. The contacts are resting right on your pupil so it doesn’t take as much to focus as would a pair of glasses that sits farther from your eye. But I would consult with your eye dr in regards to this matter.

  17. Ashley
    September 17, 2016 | 6:13 pm

    I got glasses for the first time 6 days ago. I cannot get used to them. I see letter fine, TV and driving is better. Bit walking… My distance is off and its like in drunk. I wear them unless I’m up cleaning something because it makes me dizzy.

    • Ryan Phillips
      September 23, 2016 | 6:40 pm

      Hi Ashley,

      I would take this up with your eye dr. The prescription in them could be inaccurate, the dr could have written the prescription wrong for you. There are so many variables coming in play. It would be best to go back to them or the place you had the glasses made at and verify everything is correct.

  18. Chinyereude Lynda
    October 10, 2016 | 5:45 pm

    Hi Lynda,
    I just got my glasses today and after 30 minutes of wearing it I had a severe headache. my prescription is 1.00 for the right eye and 0.75 for the left. I don’t know why I have the headache, is it a wrong prescription or just my eye getting use to the glasses?

    • Ryan Phillips
      October 11, 2016 | 2:26 pm

      Hi Lynda,

      It’s possible your eyes are just needing some time to adjust to the change of prescription. if possible, I would wear them for little bit of increments a day. Start wearing it for like an hour. Then the next day do 2 hours. If you still continue to feel issues, bring them back to your eye dr for them to recheck the prescription in the lenses and they may recheck your eyes as well.

  19. Chinyereude Lynda
    October 10, 2016 | 5:47 pm

    sorry wrong address, I wrote my name instead of yours

  20. James
    October 16, 2016 | 3:11 pm

    About 2 months ago, my mother accompanied me to an optometrist to have new prescription glasses. The optometrist was very accommodating and meticulous during the eye/lens tests. However, when I got the new glasses, they were very strong. I used it until on the way home, but for the next months until yesterday, I switched back to using my old glasses, especially since I couldn’t read a thing in the computer screen using the new one. Yesterday, my family convinced me to use my new glasses since I complained about not recognizing the faces of people in the TV. I did and what I noticed was that my vision appears “even clearer” without it. Now, I am trying to endure the blurry vision using this new set of eyeglasses even like right now as I type. I would want to expect that my eyes would adjust within one or 2 weeks (according to may sites I have searched), although I am beginning to confirm I should never trust any optometrist ever again…

    • Ryan Phillips
      October 21, 2016 | 7:10 pm

      Hi James,

      I would take the glasses back to the eye dr and have them double check that the prescription is correct in the lenses and they may also do another eye exam to make sure the information the dr wrote down was correct. That can happen at times as well

  21. Cornea cristian
    October 27, 2016 | 11:11 am

    Hi

    I have one question that is torturing me since childhood.

    Whenever I get new eyeglases (even same prescription and same frame model) it takes me months to get used with them. I start bending them this an there, and keep doing it for months until a magical position is found, and everything is perfect.
    It can be perfect until one day when I accidentally hit them and deregulate. even 1 mm of the frame changing positon is torturing me again, until I find again a new ideal position.
    I am nearsighted, opticians are telling me that I am too sensitive, but 1 mm ?????
    I would appreciate an opinion, to know better what am I fighting with.
    In the same time, the only good position is with the lenses very close to the head and very high up nose, so close that they are touching the skin, getting dirty etc.
    Are these common things, or I am an alien?

    Regards

    Maybe you can answer me by mail, thanks in advance
    Are these things

    • Ryan Phillips
      November 3, 2016 | 6:09 pm

      Hi Christian,

      When making lenses, there is a tolerance level that the readings can be made at and still be ok for the end user. Your eyes may just be that sensitive that anything be slightly off will throw you off as well.

  22. Anthony silva
    November 14, 2016 | 4:48 am

    I just found out recently I have astigmatism in both eyes before that I was told that I had vertigo or Ménière’s disease, after doing my own research and dealing with a misdiagnosis from these doctors I came to find that it was my eyes that was causing my dizzy spells before. Now that I have glasses I was given the wrong prescription at first and wore the glasses for 3 weeks and discovered they were misaligned the whole time since the lens was popping out in one corner on my right eye(keep in mind I’m a first time glasses wearer). Got my eyes retested and checked by a different optometrist and found the original prescription was wrong . So I got the new prescription and now I’m feeling tilted to my right side, I started feeling like I was tilted to one side after I got my lens aligned the first time but now I feel all tilted to my right still and have been wearing my new prescription for a week and still feel off and have the whole disoriented feeling. I don’t know what’s wrong. I was told it would take 1 – 2 days to be adjusted but I’m still not.

    • Ryan Phillips
      November 16, 2016 | 3:23 pm

      Hi Anthony,

      We are only an optical lab. Due to your medical history, I would speak with another eye dr or your primary dr and make sure there are no other underlying issues besides the Meniere’s disease.

  23. Lillian Schaeffer
    December 5, 2016 | 6:30 pm

    Thanks for bringing to my attention that keeping your new glasses on can help you adjust to them. I’ve noticed that my vision is kind of blurry, and I want to visit an optometrist to get a prescription for eyeglasses. I want to make sure I adjust quickly to them, so I imagine that it would be a good idea to keep them on as much as possible.

  24. R .dey
    March 27, 2017 | 3:15 am

    I am nearsighted, -.25 is incresed in my left eye than earlier according to doctor’s prescription ,so after making new glasses i am using last 2 weeks, but still i feel blurry slightly, when I cover my left eye every thing clear through glasses, but when I cover right eye there is quite more blurry. may I know the reason???

    • Ryan Phillips
      March 30, 2017 | 9:01 pm

      Hello,

      If after 2 weeks you are still experiencing an issue seeing clearly out of your glasses, you should go back to your eye dr to recheck your eyes and check the prescription in the lenses for accuracy.

      • R .dey
        March 31, 2017 | 7:50 am

        Thanks Ryan, I will wait for another 2 weeks, just one doubt, do I need to go that shop first for verification where I have made glasses?? Is there any chance they have provided wrong diopters in left eye’s glass?

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