Trouble with new glasses prescription

Has anyone else experienced problems when wearing glasses with a new prescription? I got some new ones about a week ago. I only wear them for driving really, and occasionally for things like watching a presentation at work.

Anyway, when I put them on, I feel like I am standing in a hole! The ground looks considerably higher (about a stair’s worth).

I did look on the internet and found that many people have similar effects when they change glasses’ prescription, and then it should settle down within a few days. The problem for me is that a) I only wear them for a short period a couple of times a day (maybe one hour total) so presumably I won’t get used to them so fast as I don’t wear them enough, and b) I am finding this really disorientating and they make me feel very sick, and it’s even affecting my balance when I am not wearing the glasses (I assume because my brain just doesn’t like being challenged in this way, and it’s setting my MAV off).

I really don’t know whether to just go back to using my old glasses or whether if I stick it out they will settle down. The irony is that either pair of glasses help my vision, but the new ones don’t even seem noticably better then the old ones, so I am wondering why I am trying to endure sticking with them (probably cos they cost me a fair amount of money!)?

Any thoughts or advice?

I know exactly what you mean Beech. I always dread getting new glasses. Have the same trouble adapting to them every time. Takes me a few weeks at least. I always feel just like you - sick, unbalanced, disorientated. Sometimes I’ve just felt like giving up and going back to my old prescription. But I’ve usually stuck it out.

Once I had to go back and get some reading glasses changed to a lesser prescription but that was after a fair trial of a number of weeks, by which time I just knew they were not right. But even with a less strong prescription, which was correct, I still had to go through that awful adjustment period.

So if I were you I’d give it more time. If your eyes do need that new prescription, it won’t help your eyes to be straining with the old glasses. That will do your MAV no good at all. I’d say leave it a bit longer, see how you go, and if after a couple more weeks you’re still not satisfied, then re-assess. But whatever you do don’t hop back and forth between glasses. I did that once and it solved nothing! Be careful though with them, what with driving and all.


Thanks Brenda, that’s really useful to know that you’ve stuck it out and got through all the problems. It hadn’t occurred to me that I would be making it worse swapping between glasses, but that makes sense, so I will stop doing that (I wore the old ones to drive home today!)

Hi I thought I was going mad when I went to get a new eye prescription, I only went to opticians because I have a constant flashing in the corners of my eyes and I wanted to get it checked out. It turns out to be nothing sinister but they said my prescription had changed a little bit so I decided to get a new pair of glasses. When I tried them on I instantly said that I couldn’t see out of them, the ground looked like it was sloping, they just weren’t right at all, I felt terrible when wearing them. The optician said this was strange and booked me in for another eye exam. They said it was the same and sent me home to adapt to the glasses. I tried for a week but just felt terrible wearing them, I ended up going back and getting my old prescription in the new frames so I spent £125 for nothing really. I’m the same as you and only have to wear them for a short time during the day aswell so found it hard to try to get used to them. The optician seemed to think I was a bit mad and said she couldn’t understand why I couldn’t wear the new prescription because it had only changed very slightly. My view on it us that our brains and eyes are very sensitive so any slight change probably causes us to feel it more than others?

Thanks for your feedback. I think my optician will think I am nuts too!
I’m going to try to stick it out for a while longer, maybe another couple of weeks, and see how I get on. I know from experience that something like a new computer screen, or using a microscope at work seems to make me feel very sick and headachy for a few days, but I do get used to them, so maybe it will be the same for the glasses.
At the end of the day I can always go back to my old prescription and get the lenses changed in my new frames, but I’d rather not on grounds of cost!

I had this exact problem. Do you know if they changed the material from what the lenses from what they were before you got the new lenses?!! That is what they did to me and they had to change them about 3 times until I told the lady PLEASE just give me back my old lens material that I’m used to and BAM they were 100% better! I was used to polycarbonate lens material and they put me in something else so until they put me back in the right material that I was used to from the last lenses it sucked! Now they are all better so ask if they changed your lens material from what it was before!!

Thanks v much for the suggestion Lauren. I’m going to phone up the company and ask them tomorrow.

Beech, its got to the stage where everytime I go to get my glasses changed, I have trouble and end up taking them back and having them changed again! I have worked out there are two problems. One is the astigmatism (if that is changed just slightly I have real problems), I now allow for the magnification (no problem) but keep the astigmatism the same (last time, as soon as that was put back to as it was before I was fine). Second problem, as Lauren says, could be the lenses. I too, am used to polycarbs as I wear rimless glasses (have to have titanium as I am allergice to nickel). I am fine with some of the plastics, but I have had glasses before where they used some material which didnt agree at all, dizzy, ground seemed to be too far away etc.


Hi Christine,

Thanks for your reply. It’s interesting that you say that, as my prescription has hardly changed in terms of the magnification (in fact it’s the same in one eye and reduced by 0.25 in the other) but it’s the astigmatism stuff that is different.

I’m managing to drive in them ok, and the nausea is settling, but I still couldn’t wear them to walk around in, as the ground still looks too high. I never wore my previous glasses except when driving, so it doesn’t really matter if I don’t with these, but the optician had suggested that as I have visual/balance problems I might find it helpful to wear them all the time to make my vision as perfect as possible and take any strain off my brain! How ironic that my new glasses make me feel ten times worse…

Whatever it is, it sounds like they are too strong. It seems a shame to not wear them when you have paid good money for them,
I would take them back as soon as possible and explain the problem with the ground not feeling right and they will probably replace the lenses with slightly weaker ones for you free of charge. I have always managed to get mine changed. Sometimes they make errors as well, I have put glasses on before, and they havent felt quite right, told the opticians to find that the girl had put the wrong perscription on the computer and they were made up wrong. You can always check that out by taking them to another opticians and they can tell you the perscription of the lenses by taking your glasses and measuring it, check it against your new paperwork perscription and make sure its right.

I always explain that they have to be correct because I suffer with daily dizziness already. They are usually sympathetic and change them.


A really ancient thread but still relevant and informative. Certainly one I can certainly relate to. These hypersensitive brains are a nuisance. I‘ve never changed prescription lens since chronic MAV. I tried in December and gave up after five days as I was too dizzy to cook Christmas Dinner. I’ve since had the script reworked and ‘dampened down’ and now I’m trying again. Today I am feeling too tall, as if the floor is too far away and I do feel at risk of falling because of this. Everything looks bright and clear and really too sharp except screens are perfect, and there’s far too much dust (I blame this Saharan dust), far too much dust to be British around the house. Helen

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I can so relate to the to bright and too sharp, especially the to sharp part. The optometrist never understood when I told him everything is almost too sharp. Also cant do glasses, have astygmatisms prisms in both lenses, and it’s just wayyyyyy to disorienting. Contacts it is for me

Yes, I have prisms in both too, have had them for many years but I cannot wear contacts. I’m allergic to both the material and the cleaning materials. The increased sharpness doesn’t help in stores I discovered this morning. Everything seems to want to jump out at you. Haven’t had any visual vertigo for over a year I’d say. MAV brains are so frustrating. Helen

Helen thanks for resurrecting this thread…so much of it resonates with me. For the last number of years I have had difficulty with my glasses - ended up going to 3 different places including an opthamologist but no matter what they did the glasses just never seemed right - too sharp and a lag in vision on moving my head particularly with the last (stronger) prescription. I have both reading glasses and separate glasses for distance (tv and driving). So I pretty much avoid wearing them which means I guess I am in slightly blurred mode all of the time and only realize how out of focus the world is when I put the glasses on but I am unable to wear them for too long because everything is TOO sharp. I only realized recently that you can get varifocal contact lenses so I am going to trial those soon to see if that helps at all. It doesn’t help either that my right eye is 3.5mm lower than my left due to my recent sinus issue. The optometrist told me that even 1mm deviation of the eye in the orbit is HUGE in terms of how it can adversely affect balance.

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I wish I could go without wearing anything. My balance gets all sorts of messed up more than usual if I’m out and about without them in, at home its manageable. I am only a year into all this though, so maybe with time that’ll change.

These funny brains don’t seem to take kindly to any sort of change. They seem to take much longer to adapt to it so consistency helps with MAV. I think that’s why people find they have trouble with single task glasses, ie for driving. The brain doesn’t get long enough to get used to them before they are changed for something of different magnification. Helen

Update: Having had a couple of hours relief from the strange ‘Too Tall’/funny floor depth’symptoms during afternoons on Days Three and Four for it only to return later in the day, I woke up on Day Five feeling alot better. I’ve functioned throughout, just about, but avoided walking out first couple of days and have been keeping out of shops and other visually challenging busy places since my Day Two experience at the Garden Centre and am more than hopeful it will soon settle. Had a tiny bit of visual stuff, Visual Vertigo, or probably more correctly what opticians call ‘Transient Refocus’, and definite bit of Visual Vertigo yesterday, Day Five, as a car passenger when the driver reversed, something I’ve not experienced for a long time. The strange eye lids feeling dry and tight feeling has also gone so maybe I’m getting there at last. What a fuss about an increased prescription. Helen