New glasses, new problems...
July 24, 2008 8:17 PM   Subscribe

I've just got a set of new glasses after a few years of having the same pair. I'm used to it taking a while for the new prescription to settle and become comfortable, but there's a new problem.

When looking out the tops of my new frames, everything gets smaller - that is, my entire vision squishes. I can look straight out, and then by moving my head down to look out of the top of my lenses, everything gets squishy, and less in focus.

Background: I am nearsighted, and I have a strong astigmatism. I'm used to wearing round or oval glasses, but these are the first I've had that are more rectangular in shape.

Conjecture: I noticed that when they fit these glasses to my face, the angle of the lens to my face is a lot more than my current glasses. That is, where as the lenses on my old glasses point straight to the ground, the lenses on my new ones point in more towards my face. Could this be causing it?

I can't go back to get them readjusted for a day or two, and the bending/squishing at the top of my vision is annoying enough to make me the slightest bit motion sick.

Does the hivemind have any clue what could be causing the squish, and what I should do about it, even if all it involves is having my glasses readjusted?
posted by SNWidget to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
I've gone through several different glasses shapes, and they all had different bending effects around the edges when I transitioned. They were all super annoying at first and they all became transparently comfortable after a few weeks (not just a few days). Your brain is fantastic at getting used to this kind of stuff. It's worth phoning your optometrist to get his/her opinion on whether your annoyance is within norms, but I bet you just need to give them time.
posted by mindsound at 8:31 PM on July 24, 2008

My guess is that they weren't properly fit. Try tipping your glasses so they are more vertical (might have to slide them over your ears). If that improves things then they were definitely badly fit when you got them. In any case, I would go back and try to make sure you get an experienced person to do the adjusting.
posted by metahawk at 8:44 PM on July 24, 2008

I've had something similar happen to me. Did your astigmatism change at all? With new prescriptions and changes in astigmatism, the world can look like you're using the "perspective transform" tool in Photoshop for a few days.
posted by fontophilic at 8:51 PM on July 24, 2008

Not all of your lens is actually your proper prescription, only what I'll call the focal spot. depending on the size and shape of the lens, the focal spot varies in size and placement - even on big giant 70's Elton John lenses, that spot is only about the size of a quarter. the rest of the lens will be a bit distorted as it approaches angle/thickness/placement of the focal spot. when you were fitted, did they draw a little dot on your lenses with a marker? that would be the center of the focal spot; part of a fitting is to find where your pupil is behind the lens and frames to ensure that when the lenses are ground and placed in the frames, that focal spot is the spot you're looking through as much of the time as possible. sounds like maybe they were off a bit, or something about how you really wear the glasses is different from what you were doing when you got them fitted. what you're experiencing is looking through part of your lens that's not part of the focal spot, thus distorted, more than you should be. get a refit, mention the 'tilt' of the frames, and remind them that you have astigmatism - that's part of the equation. in the meantime, tilt your head back a little and look down, so that your pupils are looking through a lower point in your lenses. IANAO.
posted by bartleby at 9:01 PM on July 24, 2008

This happened to me. It took a long while for me to get used to the lenses not to mention how my astimagmatism played with the new prescription. On top of this they had to re-adjust my glasses so the tilt wasnt so sharp. Now that I think about it, the tilt adjustment helped the most. I dont know who decided men's frames suddenly need a sharp tilt, but it looks like they didnt think it through.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:44 PM on July 24, 2008

I wear coke bottles, and this has never happened to me - it usually takes about two hours for me to adjust to a new pair of glasses.

I would recommend going back to wherever you got your glasses to get the problem fixed.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:21 PM on July 24, 2008

Can we assume these are single-vision lenses, and not bi/tri-focals? What you are describing is similar to something I've noticed when adjusting to progressive bi-focals. Especially if the lenses are trendy narrow lenses.

You don't say where you got the new glasses. If it was a chain like LensCrafters, my experience says that it's entirely possible they got the lenses wrong. My last experience with LC resulted in their in-house examiner actually removing the astigmatism correction from my right lens, and completely getting the power wrong across the board. And then it took two attempts to get the lenses ground correctly once they fixed the prescription snafu.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:05 AM on July 25, 2008

I tried adjusting the glasses to flatten out the tilt, and everything looked just peachy. I guess the crack experts at Costco didn't adjust them properly. In retrospect, I probably should have noticed the bend when I got them, but I didn't really notice it until I was sitting at home, typing on my laptop, and looking out the top of the lenses to watch TV.

Thanks for the advice - I'll head over to Costco again after work and get them to adjust them properly. The lenses are ground correctly - I can see perfectly out of them when I adjust them as described above.

Cheers, everyone!
posted by SNWidget at 10:32 AM on July 25, 2008

Another thing to consider: glasses material. Did you get thinner lenses? They're made of a material that has a higher refraction angle or something like that, so if you're not looking exactly in the right place, the level of distortion can be bigger than you're used to.

The shape has a lot to do with it too--those corners are getting the edges of the original lens, where the distortion is the greatest (as compared to a rounded shape).
posted by jsmith77 at 7:42 AM on July 26, 2008

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