If you’re new to glasses, or you’ve got a new prescription, it can take a bit of time getting used to them. But not to worry, we’ve put together some answers to common queries that might help. And if you’re ever really stuck, just get in touch with your store.

Getting used to new glasses

It’s perfectly normal to have a few teething problems when you get new glasses – but it won’t take long to get used to them.

How long does it take for your eyes to adjust to a new prescription?

For most people, it’ll take a few days to get completely used to a new prescription, but this can vary depending on whether you’re brand new to glasses or how much your prescription has changed for existing glasses-wearers.

The good news is that it’s something that everyone goes through, so there are several tried and tested tips that can help you get adjusted:

  • Put your glasses on when you start your day – a sudden change later in the day can feel more disorientating. It also helps to start forming habits
  • Take off your glasses if your eyes are ever itchy, red or sore – pop them back on when the symptoms have passed
  • If you wear bifocals or varifocals, try turning your head rather than just your eyes
  • Even if it feels weird, try and persevere with wearing your glasses. The longer you wear them, the quicker your eye muscles can adjust.  

What are the dos and don’ts when wearing a new prescription?

Try to wear your new glasses all the time without going back to your old pair. Wear them as you have been advised and allow a few days for your eyes to adapt.

What tips are there for getting used to new glasses?

If your vision feels a little strange at first, try wearing them in the morning rather than swapping from your old to new glasses during the day. It’s best to try and wear your new glasses all the time and avoid going back to your old glasses.

How do I get used to a new prescription when I have astigmatism?

It can take a bit longer to adjust to new glasses when the astigmatism element of your lenses has changed. This will depend on what has changed in your prescription, but in general, the larger the change, the longer it may take to get used to. This can take a few days or a couple of weeks if you’re brand new to glasses. If both the strength of your prescription and the astigmatism changes, this may give you more symptoms when you first put on new specs.

Typical symptoms with new astigmatism glasses include:

  • Feeling like your vision is sloping or distorted
  • Feeling like your eyes are ‘swimmy’ when you move your head around

Your store team will advise you on how to adjust to new glasses, but here are some general tips that can help:

  • Start by putting on your glasses as soon as you start your day. This will help you to form a habit of wearing them early on. If you put them on later on in the day you may find the sudden change more disorientating.
  • Wear glasses indoors to start with. Walking around the house is a great way to familiarise your eyes to new glasses, and eye movement actually helps you to adjust to a new prescription quicker than sitting still. However, if you find this too disorientating, sitting down and doing something like watching TV can be helpful.
  • Try not to revert back to old glasses.

What is the best way to clean and prevent smearing?

We’d recommend using our cloth and cleaning spray to clean your glasses. If they’re particularly dirty or smeared, put a small drop of washing-up liquid on the lenses and rub it lightly with your fingers. Then just rinse them under warm (not hot) water and dry with a soft tissue.

How do I store my glasses?

You can store your glasses in the case we gave you when you collected your glasses. Other cases are also available to buy in store.

How can they be maintained?

If you have any problems with your specs, you can always bring them in to your local store where we can adjust them or tighten the screws if required.

How can I prevent scratches?

All of our lenses come with a scratch-resistant treatment as standard. Or you might want to ask about an UltraClear SuperClean lens treatment the next time you buy a new pair or get them reglazed. Otherwise, make sure you keep your glasses in their case when you’re not using them, and avoid putting them lens-down.

Will glasses make my eyes worse?

No – glasses should make your eyes feel more relaxed and comfortable once you’re used to wearing them, as well as improving the overall clarity of vision.

Sometimes people say they feel their eyesight has deteriorated when they take their glasses off. This can be because while wearing glasses the eyes and brain adjust to sharp vision. When glasses are removed the brain then realises what you’re missing and perceives blur. Wearing glasses more frequently could help to alleviate this problem.

Dealing with discomfort

If your glasses ever feel uncomfortable on your nose or behind your ears, you may just need a small tweak to the frame – so just call your local store and we can arrange a time to adjust them for you.

What can be done to avoid pressure on my nose or behind my ears?

If your glasses feel uncomfortable on your face or behind your ears, come and see us in store and we can adjust your frames to alleviate any pressure that’s causing discomfort.

Are indents on the nose normal/can the nose pads be adjusted?

Nose indents can be normal, but the nose pads can be adjusted to relieve any excess pressure on your nose.

How can I tell if my frames fit correctly?

Your glasses should fit comfortably and be straight on your face with little pressure on your nose and behind your ears.

How can I have my glasses adjusted?

Just call your local store whenever you need and they’ll be happy to arrange a suitable time for you to come in to get your glasses adjusted.

What will it cost to adjust my glasses?

There’s no charge for any adjustments to your glasses.

New glasses and headaches

While glasses will benefit you in the long run, it’s very common to experience headaches with new glasses – especially if you’ve never worn them before.

Often people get headaches when they need glasses, as their eyes are straining to try to get clear vision. Glasses will certainly help with this, but in the meantime, your eyes need to catch up – this is when you might experience headaches with your new glasses.

Wearing glasses changes the way your eye muscles are used to working. Even though it will improve your vision, it just takes a bit of time for the muscles in your eyes to adapt from their usual habits. Headaches happen because these muscles are working against the change in vision, causing eye strain and associated head pain.

The good news is that once your muscles are used to the change, your headaches should disappear.

Some other reasons you might be having headaches include:

Issue with the frames

The fit and feel of new frames can makes all the difference in terms of comfort. Our team in store take detailed measurements of your face and head to make sure your glasses feel as comfortable as possible – but sometimes it can still feel uncomfortable while you’re getting used to them. 

Often, just the sensation of having something on your face can feel odd to start with. The new feeling of pressure on your ears and nose might be all it is – but if it’s ever bothering you, come back and see us. We might be able to make some adjustments to your frames to make you feel more comfortable. 

Incorrect prescription

It may be that your prescription isn’t quite right, and that your optician needs to tweak the strength of your lenses to make you feel more comfortable.

Using them for other activities

You might also experience headaches if you’re using your glasses for something they’re not intended for. For example, if you use your reading glasses to watch the TV or use the computer. 

Digital eye strain

Your eyes generally need to work harder when using screens. Spending lots of time on our smartphones, laptops or tablets mean our eyes need to work hard to take in the moving images, glare and flickering from screens. Particularly if you work at a computer all day, computer eye strain is very common and can lead to headaches. 

Digital eye strain is also a common symptom when you get new glasses. This is because the distance we view digital screens is often in-between our vision zones – in short, it’s just a different type of thing that our eyes need to adjust to. If your optician has prescribed a pair of single-vision glasses, ask about our UltraClear SuperClean treatment, which can help to reduce reflections and glare from screens that could cause eye strain, as well as lots of other benefits.

If you’re a varifocal lens wearer, ask your optician about our new SuperDigital lenses, designed specifically to cater for the way we hold our phones – helping to reduce eye strain and keep things crystal clear at all distances. SuperDigital lenses have UltraClear SuperClean included.

Glasses not quite right?

If your glasses don’t feel quite right, have a look at some common queries here. Or you can give your local store a call.

How clearly should I be able to see with new glasses?

If you’ve never worn glasses before, it might take you a little longer to get used to your increased levels of vision.

In general, most people who are used to wearing glasses should be able to see more clearly straight away, but it may take a few days to feel completely comfortable. Although if there’s a significant change to your prescription it could take around two weeks.

If the astigmatism element of your prescription has changed, it can take longer to adjust. It may seem like your vision is ‘sloping’ or ‘distorted’ or your eyes feels ‘swimmy’ when you move your head around.

If you’re under 40 with a long-sighted prescription, it might feel like your vision isn’t really clear when first putting your glasses on – occasionally some people even think their vision looks worse. Your optometrist and store team will be able to advise you on how best to adjust to this. Sometimes it’s best to persevere and wear the glasses full time, or you may be advised to build up the wearing time gradually.

How can lens treatments help?

Our range of lens extras and treatments are designed to protect or enhance your lenses. You can find more information about them here.

What is the refund policy?

We want you to be completely happy with your purchase at Specsavers. If you have any concerns within 100 days of the date of purchase, we will put it right. No quibble, no fuss.

Getting used to varifocals

Varifocals have different zones across the lens for vision requirements – this can take some time to get used to.

What should I expect with new varifocals?

Thanks to the detailed measurements we take, most people adjust quickly but others may experience slight dizziness at first when moving quickly from one viewing area to the next.

Your eyes and brain will quickly work out which part of the varifocal lens you need to look through for optimum vision, and initially this will mean learning to move your head about a little more, rather than solely relying on moving your eyes around.

Most first-time varifocal wearers really enjoy the full range of vision they get, from distance to near, without having to change or take off glasses, and once adjusted to the new frames they often forget they’re wearing them.

How long will it take to get used to varifocals?

Your brain needs some time to get used to the new viewing areas of your varifocals, especially if you’re trying them for the first time. This can take a few days or weeks.

Compared to varifocal designs from 10 or 20 years ago, modern varifocals lenses have more comfortable and user-friendly transition zones between the different strengths. So most people find they can adapt quite easily and quickly to wearing varifocals.

Even though it might feel strange, it’s best to keep wearing your glasses so that your eyes can gradually adjust.

Is it normal to get headaches in the early days of wearing new varifocals?

Some people may experience headaches and dizziness (usually mild) when they’re getting used to new varifocals. This is common if you have a history of being sensitive to changes in your vision or taking more time to adjust to new glasses in the past.

These symptoms will naturally subside the more you wear your varifocals, but if they persist and are consistent with wearing the new glasses, please give us a call and we can arrange a suitable time for you to come back into store. It may be that the frame needs to be tweaked to reduce this effect.

Is it safe to drive with varifocals?

Yes – many people actually feel that they are safer driving with varifocals as they can see all the car instruments and dial clearly as well as the road in front of them.

Like with anything, only drive once you feel comfortable and adjusted to your new varifocals. Try being a passenger in the car first if you are concerned – if your vision feels good there should be no reason why you can’t drive yourself.

Are there any safety tips when wearing varifocals for the first time?

The magnified element of a varifocal is found at the bottom and helps with reading and close-up work. This can mean that as well as magnifying near print, you also notice that other objects appear magnified when you glance down. This is something to keep in mind when you first wear varifocals, particularly when you’re going down stairs or judging where kerbs or steps are.

Remember to move your whole head downwards a little more, towards your chin, so you’re looking more towards the top of the varifocal lens when getting used to judging distances and working out where kerbs and steps are. But once you get familiar with the varifocals this will become much more natural.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?

If you have any other questions that haven’t been covered on this page, please call your local store, or book an appointment today.