Have you ever wonder why it takes a bit of time for you to “adjust” to your new multifocal glasses? Why do our eyes need time to get used to the new prescription given by your optometrist? What factors influence how easily you can adapt to your new multifocal lenses or any prescription lenses for that matter?
Understanding How Prescription Lenses Work
When you see your optometrist as a part of your routine eye test, a part of the test, we look at your prescription. Any vision changes due to a change of your refractive (focussing) state of your eyes are determined by the amount of prescription changes your optometrist may find.
Your optical prescription describes how well your eyes focus. It doesn’t create any “magnification” to make the prints easier to read. The optical glasses prescription tells you how much power you need to keep the things you see around you clear. It doesn’t “zoom” into the object you are trying to see like a telescope. Hence it doesn’t provide any magnification to what you are seeing.
Your prescription lenses work by improving your focus. This improves the “posture” of your vision. Similarly, your physiotherapist may prescribe you some exercises and supporting braces as a part of a rehabilitation programme to improve your physical posture. At first, these exercises or braces may not feel comfortable as your body is not used to them. A very similar experience with your vision occurs when you wear your new multifocal glasses for the first time.
The Adaptation Period
The time which your eyes need to take to adjust is often called the adaptation period. Consider when you started your gym exercises for the first time. Your muscles become fatigued the next day. However, after a couple of days, your muscles don’t feel so sore, and you can do more exercises than the first day. Your body has now adapted to the exercise programme.
A similar experience with using your new glasses for the first time. When you put on your glasses for the first time, your vision may be clear, as it is made to your prescription. However, you may notice they aren’t as comfortable as your old glasses – even though your old glasses may be all scratched and might be a bit blurry.
Why is there an Adaptation Period?
When you buy a new pair of shoes, even though it is fitted to your size, it may take some time to “wear” it in. There are many lenses out there, and different multifocal lens technology may suit one individual than others. This means it is essential to find suitable multifocal lenses that best suit your vision requirements. Using the analogy above will take you a lot longer to get used to running in your dress shoes than your sneakers (!)
The average adaptation period is around two weeks, but sometimes not uncommon to see patients still adapting to their new multifocal lenses for a month. How can we minimise and shorten this adaptation period?
Choosing the Correct Multifocal Lenses for Your Task
If you’ve chosen the “wrong” type of multifocal lens, it will take you considerably longer to get used to your new glasses. There are many types of different multifocal lenses out there that works well in certain situations. Some multifocals provide you better computer-distance vision than reading up-close. Some multifocals are more suited for distance tasks such as driving and only give a little bit of reading for convenience.
At Capital Eye, selecting a multifocal lens is not one size fits all. We need to carefully consider your new glasses’ expectations and select the perfect lens picked from one of the many top lens laboratories available.
Having a Correct Fit
Correct fitting of any lenses is essential, and more so with our new top of the line, German-engineered multifocal lenses. If the lenses are fitted off-centre to your eyes, your vision as you’re looking through the lens can be a bit blurry and uncomfortable. You may feel your eyes are moving around quite a bit, and naturally, you decide to move your reading material to get the “sweet spot.”
There are many ways of accurately fitting your new multifocal lenses. Traditionally, your optical dispenser would ask you to wear the frames with blank lenses and use a felt-tip pen to mark where your eyes are as you are looking through your new frames. Here at Capital Eye, we use the advanced dispensing imaging camera delivered with our most popular multifocal lens manufacturer, Rodenstock. Rodenstock, a German-based company, has been manufacturing lenses for decades and is regarded as one of the best multifocal lens manufacturers globally. Their high-tech dispensing camera eliminated the majority of human error to provide consistency and accuracy every time we dispense our prescription lenses. The dispensing camera allows us to accurately measure where your eyes are in relation to the lenses and the other parameters, such as a tilt of frame, edge thickness, and many others, to customise your wearing experience further.
With such a sophisticated level of fitting your lenses, it virtually eliminates the most common reason for not adapting to your new multifocals.
The Bottom Line
Picking up new glasses are exciting. Some of us can relate to having issues with getting used to their new glasses each time they order a new pair of lenses. Although some adaptation period is expected, new lens technology and fitting methods will drastically reduce the required adaptation time.
At Capital Eye, your optometrist in Canberra has access to some of the major top prescription lens suppliers globally. If you’re having troubles with your new glasses, consider discussing it with us and see how we can make your experience a smoother one.