Why Are My New Glasses Making Me Dizzy? What to Do
June 28, 2022 • 12:30 PM
Sometimes when you get a new pair of glasses, a whole new world opens up the moment you put them on. Were those mountains always so beautiful? Or that piece of artwork so intricately detailed?
And sometimes the opposite happens, and you suddenly have (even more) blurry vision. You might experience other physical symptoms too and wonder what’s wrong — for example, “Why are my new glasses making me dizzy?”
The key here is not to panic. It’s normal for your body to take some time to adjust to your new prescription glasses.
Before you rush back to your optometrist, let’s investigate what to expect while you’re going through that adjustment period and why it happens. We’ll also discuss what you can do to help the process along and when you should go back to your eye doctor.
Why Are My New Glasses Making Me Dizzy?
Vision is a complex thing. It obviously involves your eyes, which contain muscles and nerves that take in the light. Your eyes then send signals to your brain, which needs to process that information to make sense of it.
Whether this is your first time wearing glasses or you’ve been wearing your old glasses for a couple of years, your eyes and brain have become used to a certain way of processing what you see.
Then you get a new pair of glasses. Perhaps you suffer from nearsightedness and have just bought higher prescription glasses for driving. Or maybe you’ve recently developed presbyopia so you now have reading glasses or progressive lenses. Need specs to play your favorite outdoor sport? You might invest in some prescription sunglasses.
Your eyes then need to adjust to several factors that may have changed. For example:
Prescription lenses for the first time
New prescription lenses with higher optical power to correct for worsening eyesight
A different lens type — such as going from single vision glasses to bifocals or progressive lenses
A new lens shape with a different curvature than your old lenses — for example, if you change from square to round glasses
Different lens material — like changing from polycarbonate to high-index lenses as your prescription gets stronger
A new frame shape or size that sits differently on your face
A frame that weighs a bit more or a bit less than your old one
Sun protection or a blue-light filter
When you change any of the elements involved in your eyewear, your body needs time to catch up. Your eye muscles need to adjust to a different way of seeing things through your new lenses, and your brain will then adjust around it. If you think about it, it’s amazing that your body can do all of that.
While it’s busy adjusting though, you might experience some side effects.
Symptoms to Expect From New Eyeglasses
If you’re wondering why your new glasses are making you dizzy, you aren’t alone. During the adjustment period to a new eyeglass prescription, many people experience dizziness or blurred vision — the most common side effects — and/or several other symptoms:
Eye strain, which can lead to fatigue
Blurry vision, making it difficult to see clearly
Distortion, where objects seem wavy or warped
Fishbowl effect, where your world seems curved at the edges
A kind of motion sickness, as your body adjusts how it relates to the space around you
Vertigo, or feeling off-balance and unsteady on your feet
Difficulty with depth perception, which makes it hard to judge distance
Possibly most disruptive, your new glasses may even cause headaches or nausea, which nobody’s a fan of.
Although these symptoms can be uncomfortable, you don’t need to worry that your new glasses will damage your eyes in any way. Glasses change the way our eyes receive light — they don’t change the eye itself.
Also, keep in mind that the symptoms above could also be caused by other conditions, like an inner-ear imbalance or low blood pressure. If you think that might be the case, don’t hesitate to call your doctor.
How Long Will My New Glasses Make Me Dizzy?
The period of time it takes for your body to adjust to your new glasses varies. On average though, most people experience symptoms for a few days up to a couple of weeks before things stabilize again.
However, if you have astigmatism or are changing from single vision glasses to bifocals or progressive lenses, it may take a bit longer — possibly up to a month.
Stick with the process for a while, but if your symptoms persist much longer than that, you may want to contact your eye doctor. The exception here is headaches. If you experience those for longer than a few days, make that appointment sooner rather than later.
It’s possible that you’ve been given the wrong prescription, in which case you’ll need another eye exam to double-check. It’s also possible that the lenses aren’t quite right or that the frames are sitting in the wrong place on your face. Where your glasses sit can make a surprisingly big difference, especially if you’re wearing bifocals or progressive lenses, which require precise measurements.
How to Get Used to Your New Eyeglasses
No one could blame you for being frustrated if your new glasses make you dizzy. However, there are some things you can do to support your body while it adjusts.
Be patient and persistent. In other words, don’t go back and forth between your old glasses and your new ones. It will just take longer for your body to get used to the new ones.
Wear them often, especially first thing in the morning when your eyes are fresh.
Practice good eye care by taking breaks regularly to give your eyes time to rest. Also get good quality sleep and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
If you’re feeling disoriented, avoid driving and take stairs carefully — rather safe than sorry.
Have fun with your glasses! If you order yours from Pair Eyewear, you’ll start by selecting a Base Frame. Then you can choose from a huge range of Top Frames to suit your mood, personality, and/or your outfit for the day. Why limit yourself to just one pair when you could have specs that sparkle or look like works of art?
Important Note: Whenever you order glasses online, make sure you enter the correct prescription and pupillary measurements (the distance between the pupils of your eyes). With all those numbers, or in a moment of distraction, it’s easy to type in the wrong ones.
New Glasses Making You Dizzy? Don’t Panic
When you get new glasses, it’s normal to feel a bit strange. Your eyes and brain both need time to get used to a new way of seeing the world. You may be asking questions like, “Why are my new glasses making me dizzy/nauseous/tired?” for a while.
Give yourself a couple of weeks to get used to them, and if you’re still experiencing symptoms after that, there may be something that needs to be checked with your eye doctor. In the meantime, do what you can to help your body adjust — and have fun with your look!