eye strain with new glasses

Eye Strain With New Glasses: A Detailed Guide

Written by True Eye Experts

Concerned about eye strain from your new glasses?

Don’t worry. It’s not just you. Many people experience discomfort when they get new eyeglasses, but luckily, an adjustment period is common for many of us!

Read on for a few things you can do to make the transition easier if you recently got a new pair of glasses. 

How Long Does It Take For Your Eyes To Adjust To New Glasses?

Depending on your prescription and the type of lenses you choose, it can take a few days or even a few weeks for your eyes and brain to adjust fully. Getting used to new lenses or a new frame takes some time, even if you have the same prescription.  The adjustment period varies from person to person, so don’t be alarmed if it feels prolonged.

Is It Normal For New Glasses To Feel Uncomfortable? 

It is not unusual for the new lenses to feel uncomfortable for the first few days.

When you are uncomfortable with your new prescription glasses, it is normal to want to go back to your old glasses. Most people will need to wear their new glasses for two to three days before they get used to them. Therefore, it’s a good idea to stick to the new pair of glasses in the beginning even though you want to go back to your old pair. 

If you are adjusting to your very first pair of glasses, you want to try and be even more patient with the prescription as you adapt. 

In some rare cases, the adjustment period can last up to a couple of weeks, especially if you have astigmatism. So, if you’re still struggling after a few days, don’t hesitate to contact your eye care professional for help. 

During your eye exam, the optometrist will typically assess the new lenses to make sure the prescription was placed incorrectly and also assess your symptoms and troubleshoot the refraction. Then they will offer suggestions for making the adjustment period more comfortable. 

You should wear your glasses at all times. Whether you have farsightedness or nearsightedness, wearing your glasses full-time will help you adjust faster to your new lenses.

Common Problems When Getting Used To New Glasses

Eye Strain

When you first get a new pair of glasses, you may wonder why your eyes feel tired. Don’t worry. It may just be a case of eye strain. Your eyes are adjusting to the new lenses and may feel a bit tired as they work to get used to the new prescription. 

In general, it’s a good idea to limit the amount of time spent scrolling through your smartphone or staring at your computer screen but it’s especially important to do so when first adapting to a new prescription. You want to avoid computer vision syndrome by taking a short break about every hour. During this break, try and focus on objects at different distances to help relax your eye muscles.


The world may look different when you first put on glasses. Colors may be brighter, and objects may seem clearer, but you may also notice some visual distortions. 

Distorted vision with new glasses is not uncommon. Stronger prescriptions and astigmatism tend to contribute more to the feeling of distortion in new lenses.  Your brain and eyes are learning to process images differently, which is perfectly normal. After a few days, the distortion should be less noticeable and possibly disappear.

Adjusting to bifocals and progressive lenses may take a few weeks. If you’re experiencing a difficult time adjusting to these lenses in the beginning, it is recommended to limit visually demanding tasks such as driving.  

The “Fishbowl” Effect

The “fishbowl” effect is when your vision appears to be “bent” around the edges while maintaining clear vision in the center. Typically this issue occurs due to the curvature of the lens itself and tends to be more pronounced with higher prescriptions or larger lenses. 

Depth Perception

At first glance, everything may appear closer or farther away than it actually is. Optically, a minus (nearsighted) prescription tends to create minification and make objects appear smaller and farther away while a plus (farsighted) prescription creates magnification and makes objects appear larger and closer. 


New eyeglass frames can put pressure on your nose and temples resulting in a headache. Eye strain from new glasses can also cause headaches and sometimes nausea. However, these side effects are usually only temporary.

If you experience headaches, nausea, or motion sickness for more than a few days, call your optometrist or contact us to schedule one of our eye exams to check your eye health, 

When To Contact A Doctor

If you’re still finding it challenging to adapt to your new glasses after several days, or you have persistent headaches, eye strain, or nausea, be sure to call your doctor or contact us at True Eye Experts. We can help you. 

Our eye doctors will examine your eyes, check your prescription glasses, and create a custom treatment plan to relieve discomfort. So don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment today!

About the Author

True Eye Experts

Our mission at True Eye Experts is simple — provide the best possible care to our patients. We make sure we’re doing this a few different ways. Our V-Eye-P Exam is one of the most comprehensive eye exams in the industry. We use state-of-the-art medical technology to screen, diagnose, and treat more conditions than most other providers in the area. We have an extensive collection of designer eyewear that can complement any patient’s face, style, and budget, and our advanced contact lens fitting process can help even “hard-to-fit” patients wear contacts comfortably. Book an appointment online at one of our True Eye Experts locations, conveniently located throughout Central Florida. Have questions or prefer to book over the phone? Give us a call today.


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