Common Problems with New Eyeglasses

There are many common problems with new eyeglasses. Do you love your new glasses but they don't love you?

When you buy new eyeglasses, you choose the frames but you can't actually see yourself in the new frames until after the lenses have been put in. And those lenses may or may not correct your vision in ways that you expect.

Here is a brief summary of common problems with new eyeglasses with some suggestions about what to do if it's obvious that your new eyeglasses were not a good choice.

Sometimes the problem with new eyeglasses is something that the optician cannot fix. There may be a period of 2 or 3 days that you need to get adjusted to your new lenses. Bifocals, for example, almost always require adjustments for first-time users. Just driving out of the parking lot after you pick up your first pair, for example, you need to be sure you are not clearing traffic by looking through the near-vision (lower) part of your lens. You can easily miss an oncoming truck!

Removing the near-vision part of the lens, however, defeats the purpose of having bifocals. You simply need to accustom yourself to looking through the upper part of the lens at distant objects and through the lower part of the lens at near objects.

For intermediate-distance objects such as computer screens and golf balls, you may really want multifocals, which give you three or more options for clear vision.

Sometimes one of the common problems with new eyeglasses is something your optician cannot fix, but you can avoid.

If your new lenses have been treated with an anti-reflective coating, for instance, be sure you do not use any abrasive cleanser or cleaning cloth on your lenses to keep the coating intact. Use lens spray and microfiber cloth to clean lens with special coatings.

Sometimes the problem is the way your frames were made. If your frames seem to "dig in" to your forehead, see if you can get spring hinges, which permit the temples to flex outward without putting stress on the lenses that could make them pop out.

Sometimes one of the common problems with new eyeglasses is the way the lenses were made. If you put on your new eyeglasses and everything looks fine straight ahead but objects look "squished" when you look up or down or to the right or left, probably your new lenses were not properly centered.

This issue shows up most often when the optician substitutes materials in the lens, but it can also happen when your doctor forgets to correct for astigmatism. Problems are also common when your old prescription was "spheric" and your new prescription is "aspheric" to correct for astigmatism.

In this case, there may be an issue with the way the lens is centered by the optician, but more likely you need a few days to get adjusted to using the new lens.

Of course, if your old optical center ground your lenses wrong and the new optical center followed your doctor's prescription, you will also feel discomfort!

There are two general situations in which you are almost certainly due a refund due to common problems with new eyeglasses:

  • There was a structural defect in the frame or lens causing physical failure in 30 days or less (although you must not "help" the structural failure manifest itself) or
  • There was an obvious error in the prescription for or grinding of your lenses.
  • Many retailers, however, offer satisfaction guarantees beyond the bare minimum. If the lens were made to prescription specification but you still cannot see properly, ask your doctor to recheck your eyes.

    If the second eye exam finds you need a different prescription, most stores will remake the lenses for you at least once without additional charge.

    But if you have a medical condition that causes you to need frequent changes in your lenses, be sure to inquire before you make your initial purchase whether the optician will make replacement lenses for free, how many times the prescription can be changed, and how long after your initial purchase you are eligible for corrections to your lenses. After the first courtesy remake, there is usually an additional charge.


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