How Can You Tell if Your Glasses Prescription is Wrong?

June 15, 2022

headache wrong prescription

If you struggle to work on the computer, read books or make out road signs, then new glasses can be a welcome relief. 

However, if blurred vision, eye strain or headaches continue, a wrong prescription could be the culprit. 

A wrong prescription will not damage adult eyes, but it can be uncomfortable or painful. It can make what you’re looking at seem distorted, and even make you feel wobbly and unbalanced. 

How long does it take to adjust to new glasses?

Your eyes and brain may take a few minutes or a few days to adjust when you get new glasses. 

That may extend to two to six weeks with your first glasses, significant changes in prescription, or moves to bifocal or multifocal lenses. Changes to frame size or wrap-around frames can also affect lens thickness and peripheral vision, which may require you to adjust as well. 

But your eyes will not adjust to glasses if the prescription is wrong. 

So what are the symptoms of a wrong prescription?

There are some common signs that may indicate an issue with your prescription:

  • Blurred vision
  • Poor vision when one eye is closed
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Dim or clouded vision
  • Eye strain
  • Sore or dry eyes
  • Headaches 
  • Nausea or vertigo unrelated to another health condition

If you have these symptoms while wearing older glasses, or struggle with them beyond the adjustment period while wearing your new glasses, you may have the wrong prescription. Your glasses may be too strong (over correction) or too weak (under correction).

It’s also important to know there might be other reasons why new glasses aren’t better than the old ones, or are better in one eye than the other, like cataracts, amblyopia (lazy eye), or just the prescription being between two powers on the scale.

So how do you end up with a wrong prescription?

There could be a number of reasons for a wrong prescription. After working or reading, your eyes may be tired and strained, which may skew eye test results. Borderline answers during testing mean your optometrist must make a final decision one way or the other. Occasionally, errors occur at the laboratory where lenses are being made.

And remember, your eyes can change over time for various reasons, including age, health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and your lifestyle. Prescriptions generally expire after two years, so must be updated with a visit to the optometrist. 

Can the wrong glasses damage your eyes?

The wrong prescription will not generally damage your eyes as an adult, but may cause discomfort and issues with your vision. This can have a significant impact if driving a car, working, or even just trying to read a menu!

However, the wrong prescription can be more of an issue for young people whose eyes are still developing, and may cause deterioration. 

What should you do if you think your prescription is wrong?

If you’re struggling with your glasses beyond the common adjustment period, ask your optometrist for help. They can double-check your prescription to ensure you benefit from optimum vision.

Are you due for a check-up? Contact us! We offer a range of optometry services, including supplying designer frames and lenses.

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