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. Carol whitbeck says:

    Three times I gotten eye exam and spent almost $1,000. I have never been able to adjust to any new glassy. I can see perfectly with my old glasses. Can I just duplicate the lens in new frames . They always say I must have new prescription but I can’t afford to keep getting New one that never works

  2. Rosemarie Gaete says:

    Hi, I did my eye exam for safety glasses April 9, 2021. I am working as assembler and inspector that required have my eye test at work every year. I failed two times on my near side. I pay with my own money my eye doctor test since i wasn’t eligible with my work insurance. My next step will be doing my eye exam again, do i still have to pay cause i heard that after 3 months if my glasses are not good for my eye site i should be able to have for free.

  3. Thanks for pointing out that headaches and eye strains can be a sign of having the wrong eyeglass prescription. I should probably get an eye exam soon because I’ve been using my glasses for almost four years now. I might need a new prescription after all this time, especially that I’ve been working on my computer for longer hours lately.

  4. Vina says:

    Hi, I know this is kind of old but I’m concerned. I am a student, and the semester just started out. I got new glasses about three months ago and put off wearing them until a few days ago. I started wearing them Saturday morning, so it’s been almost a week. I still can’t really see out of them. It’s hard for me to read. This is also my first time wearing prism glasses. They are supposed to help with my wandering eye. I’m gonna be falling behind in school. I paid out of pocket for these glasses and they were expensive. My eye doctor originally told me that this is my “full prescription”. Except I can’t see. It’s been 5 days!!

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