Vision problems despite a new pair of glasses?

You may have to get used to your new glasses to get the most out of them

Your new glasses look stylish and fit you perfectly. The only problem: You still cannot see clearly. You may be wondering what might be wrong with them. How come your vision is not perfect despite your new glasses? Such vision problems have many different causes. The good news: the problem can usually be solved.

Glasses were invented in order to allow people to acquire the perfect tool to counter-balance failing eyesight. Whether it’s for near-sightedness, far-sightedness or presbyopia – the right lens is now available for virtually any visual impairment. It’s quite frustrating to get a new pair of eyeglasses and not be able to see clearly with them right away.


The adaptation period: Getting familiar with your new eyeglasses

Whenever you get a brand new pair of glasses, you will have to get used to them. Some people only need a couple of days to get accustomed to new glasses, while others need up to two weeks. So it’s completely normal if you can only see the frame rim of your glasses when you first put them on. The reason for this lies in the brain’s visual center. It first needs to adapt to the new, greatly improved visual conditions. This also affects people who have been prescribed lenses with a different strength than before, or who have chosen new frames or a different type of glass. Therefore it is important to continue to wear your glasses consistently so that your eyes can adjust to them.

View our checklist “How to adjust to wearing your new eyeglasses”

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You may have waited too long to get glasses

It is only natural: Between the ages of 40 and 49, people’s vision begins to deteriorate and most will eventually need glasses. In a study of over 20,000 subjects, it was determined that close to 60% of all people who actually need glasses for the first time wait far too long before purchasing a visual aid. And after they have finally acquired glasses, their brain’s visual center also needs to adapt to the new conditions for the first time. This usually happens very quickly. Nearly all former non-eyeglass wearers wish they had received a prescription for glasses sooner.

Valuable advice for people who already wear spectacles and whose lens strength has increased dramatically (for example, due to a severe astigmatism or short-sightedness) because of a long control distance: The brain centre has to get used to the new visual impressions before you will enjoy comfortable and perfect vision again. So be patient with your new spectacles. In general, an eye test every two years is recommended for anyone who already wears glasses.

Other factors that can impact your vision and wearing comfort:

New to wearing progressive lenses

The adaption period can last up to three weeks. During that period, be sure to wear your glasses at all times. Progressive lenses facilitate clear vision at all distances. The zones for different sight distances continuously blend into one another. This need for the eyes to adjust is particularly pronounced for prescriptions that range greatly from near (reading) to far (distance).

Learn more about how progressive lenses work.

High stress levels

Your blood pressure and heart rate are not the only conditions that can be adversely impacted by excessive stress: Your eyesight may suffer as well. Often, the more stressed out you are, the more impaired your vision will be. Tip: When you get ready to acquire a new pair of glasses, make sure you see an eye care professional for a test when you are as relaxed as you can be. If you are stressed out, your test results may be inaccurate.

Chronic diseases

Do you suffer from occasional incidents of suddenly impaired vision even though you are wearing a new pair of glasses? If so, you may have a chronic condition, such as diabetes of hypertension. Both disorders have an enormous impact on a person’s visual acuity. In this case, your vision problems are probably not caused by your glasses, but by major fluctuations in your glucose or blood pressure levels. Many people do not even know they suffer from these conditions, so it may be time for a check-up.


Some medications can also impair your vision. Ask your doctor whether this might be the case with something you take.

If you are still not satisfied and your visual impression is not improving, have your eye care professional check the specifications at his or her practice one more time: Make sure the lens strength matches the prescription and the lenses are centered. You may also want to have the fit of your glasses re-evaluated: glasses that slide around on your nose or do not sit straight can affect the correction and thus the visual performance. The eye care professional is the expert who can perform all of these checks and also have your lenses reviewed by the manufacturer.

Scratches or wear on your glasses

By the way: If you should have any other problems with your glasses, for instance with the lens surfaces, contact your eye care professional. He or she will evaluate the circumstances and decide whether it is necessary to have the eyeglass lenses inspected by the manufacturer. Mechanical, thermal or chemical influences can potentially lead to a change in the coating. Scratches on your glasses can also cause vision problems. This is annoying because the scratches cannot be removed and the lenses have to be replaced.

Click here for a few tips on eyeglass care.

A tip from the experts:

If you are experiencing problems, start by wearing your new glasses only while seated. Slowly adjust to your new progressives by wearing them as you move around every day, for instance while climbing steps, driving a car or playing sports. It goes without saying that the quality of the lenses does play a significant role. For professional consultations and assistance, always see your optometrist.

The ZEISS Online Vision Check How well do you see contrast and color? Check your vision quickly and simply here!

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