Having Issues with Your New Prescription Glasses?
You’ve just been to an optometrist to get your prescription updated. However, during the eye test, there aren’t any changes to your prescription. You decided to get new glasses anyway as the frames are starting to fall apart. The new lenses you put in your new glasses frames have the exact prescription provided by your optometrist.
After a couple of days, you get a notification that your glasses are ready to be picked up. You go and pick the glasses up and try them on for vision, and this is where everything happens – the vision is “clear” but feels uncomfortable.
The quality of your vision is more than just the prescription.
There are many factors which determine whether you will feel comfortable in your new glasses. Your prescription is just one of many factors which contribute to this.
Understanding Your Prescription
Your optical prescription is unique to you. Your optometrist has determined this to provide you with the best vision in your new glasses. Everyone’s vision is different; your friends may be able to see things far in the horizon or, you can read smaller prints better up close. Your glasses help you in these circumstances to provide you with clarity with these tasks. It is common that even with your glasses, you may not see what your friend might see, even if he/she doesn’t wear any glasses.
Everyone is different, and the same applies to vision. Your friend may be able to run a 100-metre race under 10 seconds, and you may not be able to. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything wrong with your legs or athletic performance; it merely means that your friend performs better in this particular task than you. With that in mind, it is more meaningful to compare your vision with yourself – what your vision was like last year compared to today’s appointment?
Your Prescription is like Your Shoe Size
The process of finding the right pair of shoes which fits you well isn’t too dissimilar to finding the right pair of glasses for you. The comfort of the shoes depends on what you use it for; the design of the shoe, type, materials and… the size.
Have you ever experienced the initial discomfort when you try on a new pair of shoes even though it is the same size as the ones you’re currently wearing?
All prescription lenses have what we called an optical centre. This is the sweet spot where your vision is at its most optimal when looking through it.
When we make your new prescription lenses, the optical centre is aligned with your pupils. This is like when we use a pair of binoculars, and we adjust the distance of each monocule to align with your eyes. The measurement which determines how your prescription lenses are aligned with your pupil centre is called pupillary distance (PD). If the PDs aren’t well aligned, your eyes might experience a “pulling” or “pushing” effect. This is your eyes trying to naturally search or looking for the optical centre of the prescription lenses.
The optical centre might be adjusted or compensated depending on your prescription and sometimes can be a bit different than the PD that’s measured. Patients that require prisms to help with their ocular alignment issues might have different PDs. An accurate PD may not lead to better comfort for the patient. For example, in our shoe fitting scenario, you may prefer a tighter fit than what it is suggested from your size. This depends on the type of shoes that you wear and what you’re using it for. E.g. you might want a tighter fitting shoe for when you’re running than for casual wear.
Like we have different shoes for different tasks, you might need several pairs of glasses depending on what your vision requirements are. For example, you wouldn’t wear your dress shoes for mowing the lawn (You could, but it won’t be comfortable). Like there are different types of running shoes at different prices, the materials and features of each one of them suit the unique needs for the wearer.
The Bottom Line
Your vision doesn’t always depend on the prescription. Specialised lenses use different materials and lens grinding technologies to achieve the vision in your correct glasses. The comfort of vision also depends on the fitting of the lenses, which utilises other measurements such as your PDs. At your optometrist at Capital Eye, we have specialised equipment to take all the measurements for your new glasses to ensure a personalised fit and reducing lens adaptation time.
If you’re having troubles with your current glasses, see us at Capital Eye. We will sit down with you and take the time to understand your requirements, ensuring you wear the correct prescription lens designed for your needs.