If you’ve never worn glasses before or are switching to a new prescription, you might be experiencing some discomfort. This adjustment period can often lead to headaches, blurry vision, and eyestrain/fatigue, amongst other symptoms. The question is: for how long?

It can take a person’s brain and eyes anywhere from 2-3 days to 2-3 weeks to adjust to a new pair of glasses. This timeframe is influenced by various factors (ex. lens type, frequency of use, etc.).  

In this article, we’ll discuss why the adjustment process for new glasses is different for everyone. You’ll also learn a few tips that might help your eyes adjust faster, and when to contact your optometrist.

What Affects the Adjustment Period for New Glasses?

A lot of relief comes with acquiring a new pair of glasses, but it isn’t always immediate.

Because everyone’s visionary needs and ideal eyewear models are different, so is the amount of time it takes for their eyes and brain to adjust.

The predominant factors that affect how long the adjustment period will take for new glasses include:

  • Degree of visionary change
  • Frequency of use
  • Lens type
  • Model design

You can control some of these aspects to make the transition quicker and easier, while others only improve as your eyes adjust and through regular vision assessments to ensure your glasses are the right fit.

Degree of Visionary Change

The degree of visionary change you experience with new glasses is probably the most influential factor, not just for your eye’s adjustment period, but for the symptoms you’ll experience as well.

For example, if you’ve never worn glasses before and have just received your first pair, you’ll likely experience a number of unpleasant symptoms, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Barrel distortion
  • Fishbowl effect
  • Depth perception difficulties

These are in addition to the symptoms previously discussed.

This is because your eyes and brain are going through a significant change as they learn to stop overcompensating for your blurred vision and rely on your lenses instead.

If your new prescription corrects your vision by 1.00 diopter, then this process will probably be longer and more noticeable than if it was merely corrected by 0.25 diopters.

Frequency of Use

Wearing your new glasses as frequently as possible is the quickest way to help your eyes adjust.

This is the most highly recommended tip if you’re intent on getting used to them in 1-3 days rather than weeks.

However, this can be a challenge for individuals experiencing severe discomfort throughout the adjustment period who only find relief from removing their new glasses.

Another obstacle that might drag out the process is if your new glasses are only necessary on occasion for reading or other tasks, rather than being worn consistently throughout the day.

Lens Type

The material and design of your lenses can also contribute to how quickly your eyes adjust to new glasses.

Optometrists and other specialists have stated that progressive lenses tend to be the most difficult lens type to adjust to, so it isn’t uncommon for this process to take weeks before they’re comfortable.

While you can’t really control if you need progressive lenses, you can control the quality of the lenses you purchase.

New glasses made with premium optics are going to be much easier to adjust to than those made with basic spherical lenses or polycarbonate material.

These are commonly found in retail stores where the glasses and lens prescription aren’t specifically tailored to you with the help of a professional optometrist.

Model Design

Another factor you can control to help your eyes adjust quickly to new glasses is their design, more specifically, the frame and lens shape.

Switching up the style of your new glasses can be a great aesthetic choice, but sometimes this switch makes it slightly harder for your eyes, as they now have to adjust to more than just a new prescription.

If you went from minimalistic glasses with a slim frame and oval lenses to a bold or colorful frame with round or geometric lenses, you might find your eyes fixating on the glasses themselves a bit more than the world beyond them.

Final Thoughts

Thousands of people experience adjusting to new glasses, and usually, your eyes are used to them within 1-3 days.

However, if significant changes were made in your prescription, model design, and other factors discussed in this article, then you might find it takes closer to a week.

If the changes in your new glasses are minimal (ex. correction of 0.25 diopters) and your eyes still haven’t adjusted by day 4, then you’ll want to contact your optometrist for assistance and a re-evaluation.