My EYES! What have you done to me EYES!
November 28, 2009 9:33 AM   Subscribe

I know YANMED (you are not my eye doctor) but why the hell is it harder for me to see after my prescription was updated?

I went to the eye doctor about a month ago to get my prescription updated and get new glasses. After about a week and a half, I began to notice that things were actually al ittle blurrier than they had been (it was kind of hard to tell at first, because it's not a stark change, but I ride my bike to and from work, and I found myself feeling like I had a harder time figuring out what was going on when I was riding down busy streets because I couldn't focus as well.)

I made a follow up appointment with my eye doctor and had them recheck my eyes, and they basically came up with the same prescription (the doctor in question said it was a difference of "about a quarter," whatever the hell that means). She then had me put on my new glasses, set the eye chart on the other end of the room, and asked me if I could read it. I could. She told me "If you are able to read that, that's 20/20 vision."

She went on to explain that because I work with computers, it's possible that my eyes are tired from looking at the screen, and I should try resting them every 25 minutes or so. However, I just can't get over the fact that I went and got a new prescription and it is now WORSE than it was previously. I have tried the "resting my eyes" technique she suggested - staring out the window and focusing on the furthest possible thing for about 30 seconds before going back to work - but it hasn't really made a difference.

Can anyone out there explain to me what might have happened in this scenario? More importantly, what should my next step be? I obviously don't want to have diminished eyesight, but I also don't want to have to throw a ton of money at getting my eyes rechecked somewhere else.
posted by orville sash to Health & Fitness (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had this happen at one point when the blanks used to make my lenses had a different outside curvature than the previous set of glasses. This is not supposed to matter but it did. I'm very astigmatic and that was apparently why so if you're astigmatic you might try that. Did they check your new lenses to make sure they were accurate? Your optician should make this right without you having to spend more money but you will have to be persistent.
posted by leslies at 9:40 AM on November 28, 2009

Was this your usual doctor or someone new?
The last time I had my eyes checked, my normal doctor wasn't in-network for the insurance coverage I had, so I had to go to a mall-doctor (rhymes with Fens Mafters). They checked my eyes, adjusted my prescription, and had my lenses made. When I tried them on, I thought it was worse, but they said I needed to get used to the new prescription. After about two hours of not being able to see anything clearly, I went back and they re-examined me against the first prescription. It turned out, the idiot who checked my eyes the first time had removed ALL of my astigmatism correction from my prescription.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:54 AM on November 28, 2009

Yeah, make sure they check the glasses (they have a machine for this), not jus your eyes. Any number of manufacturing defects could be causing your problem.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:29 AM on November 28, 2009

It can take your eyes a little while, up to a week or two at times, to adjust to a new prescription. This happens to be regularly. Basically, your eyes get used to exerting themselves in a certain way to effect best vision for a given prescription, and then you go and readjust.

Give it some time.
posted by valkyryn at 10:30 AM on November 28, 2009

Personally I have a slight astigmatism, but can't tolerate when they put any astigmatism correction into my glasses at all. It's a question of barely-noticeable increased blurriness that I don't mind, vs. feeling like I'm cross-eyed all the time. You might want to see if they made any changes to the astigmatism correction in your prescription, because sometimes they only talk about the other numbers.

Also, when I was figuring this out I had to go back to the optometrist-glasses-store-combo-place 4 times to get something I could actually see through, and they didn't charge me for it at all. The docs rechecked my eyes several times, they used some machine to check the glasses they had made to be sure they were ground to the right prescription, they tried making new lenses with different materials, etc. Their job is to get you glasses you can see with, so if you can't see they should fix it.
posted by vytae at 10:34 AM on November 28, 2009

I had this problem, and went back to the glasses place and had them adjust the glasses frames themselves. They fiddled with the little eye pieces that sit on your nose, and with making tiny bendy adjustments to the glasses frames themselves, so that they were sitting on my face in the optimal way. They had me do various things while they were adjusting, like look into the distance, look at a computer screen at the distance I would normally sit, look at a book, etc., till things looked crystal clear when I was doing all that. This made a huge difference; I could not believe how big a difference it actually made.
posted by gudrun at 10:49 AM on November 28, 2009

I once had a pair of glasses made and the prescription she put into the glasses was just wrong. Did they recheck your glasses, or just your eyes?

Nonetheless, I would keep hassling the eye doctor until you get glasses that you can see out of. The whole "if you can read this you can see fine" line is garbage. (Myself, I'm really good at guessing letter shapes...that doesn't mean the letters are clear!)
posted by leahwrenn at 11:10 AM on November 28, 2009

I'm going to second the suggestions of astigmatism above. The OD I'd been seeing for the past 10 years missed it. I always thought that's just how it was with contacts. I went to the Costco optical this year and the OD there told me immediately I had it. So I now expect to make it a point to ask from here on in about it. It's the redheaded step-child of eye disorders, apparently. If you haven't already been diagnosed, go ask them to re-check and make sure.
posted by arishaun at 12:22 PM on November 28, 2009

Can you post your old and new prescription?

Are the new lenses made of the same material as the old ones? If the old ones were CR39 but the new ones are polycarbonate (for instance), you may notice a big difference (specifically, they are only clear in the very center).

Maybe they measured your PD (distance between pupils) wrong. Do you know the previous and current numbers? If your head is no longer growing, it should be the same as last time. If it is wrong, the center of your lenses aren't in front of your eyes.

It's hard to guess with pretty much no information here.

If you go to a second place, they might want to help you find the problem. If you go back to the same place, where they have your money already, they just want you to shut up and go away.
posted by fritley at 1:03 PM on November 28, 2009

I once had a problem with the lenses being reversed -- the prescription was correct, but they put the left lens where the right should've gone, & the right lens where the left should've gone. (Also, I had to argue with the people at the glasses place about it for about half an hour before they'd check, which was ridiculous.)
posted by oh really at 1:34 PM on November 29, 2009

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