How to adapt to new glasses

Updated February 21, 2017

Blurry vision can be caused by the inability of the eye muscles to correctly focus the eye lens so that the image is projected directly on the retina. In this case, your eye doctor will prescribe prescription lenses in the form of glasses or contacts. Some patients find it difficult to adjusting to a new prescription, whether it is your first pair of glass or an adjusted prescription due to a change in vision. However, the process should not take more than a couple of days before you are capable of wearing your new glasses comfortably.

Wait until you get home to wear your new prescription. Do not drive or ride with your new glasses. The motion of the car may increase your sense of vertigo. Also, the added trial of trying to focus on objects as they move may cause a headache as well as eye strain.

Put away your old glasses. Once you put on the new glasses do not put on your old glasses again. Switching back and forth between prescriptions will only make the adaptation time longer and cause greater strain on your eyes. If you want to give your glasses away, many optometrists and charities have programs to give your old glasses to those that cannot afford them.

Watch TV or sit quietly on your porch. Try not to move your eyes around too much, but instead, allow your eyes to focus naturally on a distant point. This will allow your eye muscles time to adjust to the new focal length provided by the glasses.

Allow your eyes to rest. If the strain on your eyes becomes painful, remove your new glasses. Close your eyes for a few minutes to allow the muscles to relax. Dr. Russ Quiring, an ophthalmologist, recommends leaving your glasses off for up to an hour if necessary. If you eyesight is good enough that you can read without your glasses, consider spending time reading to allow your eyes to focus on something without strain.

Plan to stay home for a day or two after receiving new prescription glasses. If you pick up your new glasses on Wednesday, consider waiting for the weekend before you start wearing your new glasses. Driving and moving around a lot changes your focal point constantly and can contribute to headaches and eye strain while adapting to your new prescription.


A new vision prescription forces the eye to focus correctly and typical symptoms include headache, dizziness and eye strain. Periodically resting your eyes should abate these symptoms. However, if the symptoms persist for more than a few days, contact your eye doctor immediately.

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About the Author

Transplanted Yankee Erin Watson-Price lives in Birmingham, Ala., and has been writing freelance articles since 1997. She worked as writer/co-editor for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue's newsletter, "The Long and the Short of It." In 2007 she obtained a certification as a copy editor. Watson-Price holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.