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What to Expect When You First Start Wearing Prescription Glasses

By Edited Apr 30, 2014 1 4

ZiggyD's Glasses
Credit: Me with new glasses. 2010

Poor eyesight is becoming increasingly common in adults. Environmental factors like pollution, poor lighting and long hours of looking at computer screens means that more people are taking trips to the Optometrist and more are finding out that they need prescription glasses.

Just last year I was in that exact situation. After a year or two of headaches and squinting I finally went to the Optometrist. I found out that for whatever reason my vision wasn't perfect anymore and I needed to start wearing glasses everyday. 

If you just found out that you have to start wearing glasses too then you may be wondering what to expect. There is an adjustment period and a few changes you will have to make to get used to them. I thought I would share my experiecnes with you so you know what to expect when you start wearing prescription glasses.

Woah! Clarity

This is easily the first thing you will notice when you get your new glasses. The first time I put them on I realized just how much detail I couldn't see in the world before. Simple things like leaves on a tree and blades of grass will look amazing. 

I spent the first few hours taking my glasses on and off to compare what I could see, although this resulted in a nasty headache.


Nearly everyone will experience some headaches when they first start wearing glasses so don't be too worried. My Optometrist explained this to me as: "my eye muscles getting used to relaxing". I guess after having to squint for such a long time not having to all of a sudden is a big adjustment.

Different people will have headaches of different severities but if yours are particularly bad and don't let up I recommend seeing your doctor. Eventually the headaches will begin to settle down, now I only get them if I try to focus without my glasses on.


Some people experience a slight dizziness when they first start weraing glasses. This effect usually only occurs within the first few days and should only be minor. If your dizziness is particularly bad or lasts for longer than a week definitely go have a chat with your optometrist.

Sore or Tired Eyes

Just like headaches sore or tired eyes are a normal part of the adjustment period and will settle down in time. I also experienced some light sensitivity and still do occasionally. 

My Optometrist recommended only using my glasses for a few hours at a time for the first week to reduce these symptoms. So if you are experiencing these symptoms I recommend only using your glasses when you need to until you are accustomed to them.

Sore Ears, Nose and Sides of Head

Although modern frames are fitted and fairly comfortable it can still be quite painful on these areas for a while. My ears in particular experienced a lot fo pain, especially when using headphones. This pain should eventually go away so if it doesn't I recommend going back to your optometrist to have the frames re-fitted.

Excello Brio Blue Microfiber Glass Cleaning & Polishing Cloths, Set of 3
At Least 5-10 Minutes a Day of Cleaning

Even experienced glasses wearers will get at least one finger-print on their glasses per day. Your record will be far worse when you first start wearing them. You will forget they are there, get food on them, bump into your partners face and generally get them filthy. Constantly. They are also seem to be very difficult to clean properly, I often clean them only to put them back on and realize that they are worse then before. Honestly, this is worst part about wearing glasses.

I would recommend investing in a really good cleaning cloth and perhaps some cleaning spray for when they get really bad. A good cloth should be very soft, lint free and be able to pick up grease and dust easily. If you try using your shirt or a sheet you will just smear grease around the lenses and you wont be able to see at all. Get used to carrying your cleaning cloth around with you.

Expect to Have to Look for Them

If you are like me and are constantly forgetting where you left your keys and phone then expect to be doing the same with your glasses too. Even if I put them in a place that I am sure I will remember I will lose them shortly afterwards.

A good way to avoid this is to have one designated glasses spot in the home and another in the car. This spot is best marked with a good protective case.

Other People Will Take Time to Get Used to Your New Look

Modern glasses are much more stylish than their contemporary counterparts and as more people start wearing them they become more accpeted. Even so it will take your friends and family a bit of time to get used to them. The best piece of advice I can give to you is to embrace your new look and be confident about wearing your glasses. The more confident you are about them the more other people will react positively. They could even end up being a great accessory to your look!

On that note it is definitely worth spending a bit more to get a pair of glasses that you actually like, if you can afford it. Glasses can be very expensive but remember that you will be wearing them every day and a good pair will last a few years. Try to think of it as an investment.

You Will Feel Smarter

Okay, this last one is not very serious but I really do feel smarter when I wear my glasses. I know that when I put them on I'm usually about to do some serious reading, writing or gaming. Embrace the feeling and pick up a good book . 


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If you enjoyed this article or have a story about your first experiences wearing glasses to share please consider leaving a comment below!


Mar 26, 2012 8:28pm
I should have read this before i got my glasses, that i still dont wear. Lol Its articles like these i enjoy reading, ones that inform or entertain you about the simple things in everyday life.
Mar 26, 2012 9:29pm
Thanks Misskate! I was pretty late to the glasses party too, I waited 1-2 years before going and getting them even though an eye test said that I probably should get them. I'm glad now of course!
Oct 6, 2012 8:09am
Guess what? I wrote an update article about this that you might enjoy! :)

Sep 22, 2015 2:43pm
Helpful post, ZiggyD. I had an eye test today and result is I need glasses for distance. I'm -1 which is very mild apparently - though everything looked so clear correction in the test. Did you start wearing your glasses full time straight away when you go them? I'm collecting the glasses tomorrow - i'm a bit nervous and excited about being a glasses wearer!
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