My New Glasses Feel Too Strong

The symptoms are unmistakable, and occur from the moment you put on your new pair of glasses; objects seem either too close or farther away than they should, or move at a bit of a blur.

Are My New Glasses Too Strong?

Your vision seems super-sensitive, hyperactive. Sometimes people describe the effect as “tunnel vision.” It could be any or all of the above.

However the condition manifests itself in your case, you’ll know it when it happens. Your brand new glasses simply feel too strong. What happened? Was a mistake made in cutting the prescription, creating lenses that are a diopter or two off from your required vision correction setting? Did the optical exam you recently underwent miss something, or misdiagnose your prescription?

It’s possible. Mistakes like that do happen. Your prescription can be slightly off even if no error is made at the eye exam; if, for example, your eyes are tired after a long day when you had the exam performed. (It’s recommended that you try to schedule an optical examination when your eyes are “fresh,” such as in the early morning or during days when you won’t be spending several hours at a computer monitor.) Sometimes mistakes of the old-school variety at to blame – poor handwriting on a prescription form, miscalibrated machinery, etc.

These problems, however, are relatively few and far between. What’s more likely is that you simply need time to adjust to your new lenses. If you’ve had any change in prescription strength, for either eye, your eyes need an adjustment period to become acclimated to those changes. Light is now being directed through your eyes’ lenses just a little bit differently than it used to; the muscles that position the eye and the photoreceptors that process the information need to compensate for these developments.

Even if your prescription stays exactly the same, new glasses can seem strong and somewhat “off” for a period of time. Lenses change with age – minute scratches, fading, and gradual yellowing alter them very slightly over the years, and your brand new lenses are crisp and clear. The difference might not be obvious, but it’s there. Vision is also altered by other factors, such as additional tints or coatings on your new lenses that weren’t present on your old pair of glasses. Even different frames or lens shapes can alter the way your eye process visual information, requiring an adjustment period for you to get accustomed to new glasses.

Regardless of the reason, the feeling that your glasses are too strong should gradually dissipate, and by two or three days of constant use, your eyes should completely adjust to the new lenses. If they do not, a revisit to your optometrist may be in order to confirm your prescription or determine if the lenses are at fault. Just be sure to wear the new glasses throughout the adjustment period. It’s tempting to switch back to your old familiar pair, but doing will reset your eyes’ new training period.


  1. LSB says:

    Is it normal for a new prescription to give you an eye drift? My right eye seems to have drifted outward since I started using my new glasses. I look and feel wonky.

  2. Lotte N says:


    I have astigmatism and can’t get used to my new glasses. My old ones felt perfect and had no SPH correction at all. However, my new pair has OD/OS correction of -0.25/-0.75 and my CYL changed from -1.50/-1.25 to -0.75/-0.75! The axis did not change much (OD was 020 now it is 015/OS unchanged). PD from what I recall was standard a 63 and also remains unchanged.

    Why is my new Rx so awful? They feel way too strong and I was getting a headache WITHOUT glasses that were actually less noticeable than the strain this new pair is giving me.


    • SanMartin says:

      Hi Lotte,

      New eyeglasses can take about two weeks to fully adjust to them, especially if it’s a new prescription. If you still feel something may be off after that adjustment period, you should visit your eye doctor.

  3. Irtaza says:

    hi I just got my new glasses and the screen is looking diagonal as well as the pages in the book. I also feel more sensitivity to light. I only just got them today. I wanted to know is this normal. And if I start experiencing headaches or nausea is that normal? Because I do suffer from migraine.

    • Mirna Romero says:

      Irtaza, new eyeglasses can take about 2 weeks to fully adjust to them, especially if it’s a new prescription. If after that adjustment period you still feel something may be off, You should go back to the eye doctor.

  4. MaryLou says:

    My new glasses are bifocals and when I move my head side to side objects move also seemingly, like my head is swimming. Why?

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