If you’re new to wearing glasses, or you’ve recently changed your prescription, it’s perfectly normal to experience a few teething problems. It’s simply an adjustment process while your eyes get used to something new – but many people can experience bothersome symptoms like watery eyes, dizziness and headaches when they first start wearing glasses.

It won’t take you long to get used to them, but in the meantime, we’ve put together some information on why you might get headaches with new glasses and what you can do to help them.  

What happens when you get new glasses?

During your eye test, your optician will have done a number of tests to check how well you can see at varying distances and will have recommended glasses to help with any difficulties you have.

Generally, people are short-sighted, long-sighted or have an astigmatism. These can be easily treated with a pair of glasses with some corrective lenses that will help you to see clearer and will make your eyes feel more comfortable and relaxed. 

Why am I getting 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. 

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 strainis very common and can lead to headaches. 

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. 

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. 

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.      

Understanding digital eye strain

Digital eye strain is also a common symptom when you get new glasses, particularly if you work in an office or spend a lot of time on your smartphone or other digital devices. 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. And while you’re getting used to it, your eye muscles are working hard, which can lead to eye strain and headaches.

While it’s not often possible to get away from screens, it’s a good idea to take regular breaks throughout the day. Even a 20 second break to look at something else in the room will give your eyes a rest and reduce the chance of you developing eye strain. You can learn more about the link between eye strain and digital screens here.

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.

Remember, if you’re ever not happy with your glasses or you’re feeling any discomfort, pop in and see us in store for some help and advice from our experts or have a look through our common queries about new glasses page. Alternatively, for more about how digital devices can cause problems for glasses-wearers, visit our dedicated resource.