How Do I Know if my Glasses Prescription is Wrong?

Okay, so you have that nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right with your new glasses. Your vision isn’t as clear as it should be, or things are appearing fuzzy and indistinct. You may be experiencing a sense of tunnel vision. Perhaps your depth perception is just a little bit off.

Is Your Glasses Prescription Wrong?

You know from experience or you’ve been told by your optometrist that some prescriptions, especially bifocals or trifocals, require an adjustment period during which you need to get used to the changes of a new prescription. This transition period can last (depending on the prescription and the individual) for days, weeks, even upwards of a month. So how can you tell if your vision inconsistencies are related to this adjustment period or are instead a result of an incorrect prescription?

The answer typically lies in the symptoms you experience and their severity.

Errors made during an eye exam are not unusual. They can result from a typo on a computerized report or, more commonly, a misreading of a handwritten prescription. The misinterpretation of a single digit – or the omission of one – can wildly alter a prescription. Sometimes incorrect measurement readings are to blame and these are not always the fault of the optometrist. Perhaps, without realizing it, you’d scheduled your exam late in the day, maybe after work, and your eyes were tired and weak, skewing your results.

If your symptoms include the following, you may want to return to the optometrist for advice or at least a confirmation that no clerical error in your prescription was made:

  • Extreme blurriness or lack of focus.
  • Poor vision in only one eye when the other is closed.
  • Headaches or dizziness caused by excessive eye strain.
  • Extreme vertigo or nausea not related to any underlying medical condition.
  • Problems persist despite the fact that the lenses are properly centered in front of your eyes.
  • Problems persist despite waiting out the recommended adjustment period.


It’s true, however, that if your prescription has changed or you’ve switched to bifocal, trifocal, or progressive lenses, your eyes do need to adjust – particularly if the prescription strength in only one eye has changed. If your symptoms most closely follow the ones below, your problem may simply be caused by the change in prescription:

  • The blurriness or fuzziness you experience improves with time.
  • You haven’t been using your new glasses on a regular basis.
  • Headaches, dizziness, nausea, or vertigo lessen the longer you wear your glasses, or subside greatly after the first few days.
  • Vision is clear when each eye is isolated.
  • You haven’t yet completed the transition period suggested by your optometrist.

Realize that you know yourself better than anyone else. You know how your eyes react to typical daily eye strain and what they feel like when you’re tired. If you can rule out these conditions, and you’ve been patient with any change in corrective lenses and given your symptoms the prerequisite amount of time to clear up, the fault may lie in your glasses and not in yourself. If you have any cause to suspect this is the case, a follow-up visit to your optometrist is certainly warranted and definitely recommended.


  1. Lana says:

    I just got glasses they were supposed to be transitional but I picked them 2 days ago and they are not and they are pretty dark I’ve actually been trying to wear them in the house

  2. Christine L says:

    I seem to keep having the same problem with each new pair of glasses I get. I can see fine out of my right eye, but the left eye is blurry. I’ve gone back to ensure that the prescription is correct and was assured more than once that it was correct. I’ve had them remeasured and readjusted and still no luck. This has happened for the third year in a row. My contact lenses are always good for both eyes, but my glasses are always blurry for my left eye only and I don’t know what else to do.

  3. Brigitte B says:

    how do I know if the LAB did my prescription accurately?..I just had an exam and my prescription has changed somewhat but the new lens are even worse than my previous glasses.. have worn the new ones for 3 weeks straight done now.. theses are progressives.

    • SanMartin says:

      Hi Brigitte,

      If after adaptation period your eyeglasses still not work correctly, you should visit your eye doctor for a review of your prescription.

  4. Laurie Topolinsky says:

    This is what happened to me I went for an I test yes I knew the test wasn’t right they had the left eye so strong and my right eye they wouldn’t up my prescription so I didn’t buy them so now when I go back and keep having testing they refuse to retast me they just keep telling me I need to wear these glasses for a while I can’t even put them on my face what do I do when they won’t redo my test. So it’s been a whole year now and I haven’t had a pair of glasses and I was wearing glasses for 30 years so you can just imagine what I’ve been going through with the headaches and the nauseous

    • Mirna Romero says:

      Hi Laurie, we are sorry to hear this. Have you tried getting your eye exam at a different place?

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