I have recently started relying upon my glasses a little more.  My prescription is pretty small and I have only noticed in the past year or so, after I hit 40.    I usually choose the same type of rectangular frame and my prescription hasn’t changed in the past 2 years.  Just look at my collection – other than the difference in color, basically the same shape.

I usually wear my glasses for about an hour or two a week.  Not too often in the past, but, lately, more than that.  My usual go-to pair was this pair of Ray Ban above or the Fendi below. Same rectangular shape.

So, our clinic is upgrading our lenses to the new Zeiss lens and I chose a new pair of glasses to go with the new lens.  I got the pair back and it was SO clear.  Like viewing in HDTV clear when I had been watching an old cathode ray tube TV.  I loved them.

Then I decided I was tired of getting the same shape frame over and over, so I decided to try something totally different – round.  And, when those glasses came back a week later, I just didn’t like my vision in them.

Until I experienced this, I think I never truly understood what a patient meant when they said their vision was “too clear”.  But, that’s exactly what I felt.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but it just wasn’t the same as the other pair I had just gotten.  Same prescription, same lab making the lens.  Only thing that was different was the shape of my glasses.  So, I asked my optician her thoughts and the first question she asked me

  1.  Are you switching back and forth between your two different pairs?

    Well, yeah, of course.  Turns, out that’s the wrong thing to do.  Being a newbie to wearing glasses, I had not given myself time to adapt to the new frame, so I asked our optician to give some advice about adapting to new lenses.


Hi, I’m the Optician for Honolulu Eye Clinic.

So you’ve finished the eye exam, and for the first time in your life, the doctor says you need to wear prescription eye glasses. You’ve never worn glasses before so you talk about lens options with the local optician, select a gorgeous new frame and finalize the order details. The optician calls you two weeks later when the glasses are ready. You try them on and your eyes widen in awe as you look around and suddenly see everything in sharp detail and crystal clarity. But after a few seconds of looking around, you start to feel a little funny. Objects almost look too sharp and after looking around and around through the lenses, you start to feel a little dizzy and feel a headache coming on. You look up at the optician in alarm and say, I cant wear these!!!


STOP. Take a deep breath.


This is a NORMAL experience, referred to as the adaptation period. Nearly all first-time glasses wearers experience initial dizziness and a sort of “off-balance” feeling. This is the time when the brain needs a chance to get adjusted to what the eyes are now seeing in crystal clarity. This is very common, and sometimes it takes a few minutes, a few days, or even a few weeks, before you can fully enjoy your new glasses. So don’t be discouraged! Take breaks when you experience dizziness, but do your best to put them back on and wear them as much as you can.


HEC Tips:

WEAR YOUR GLASSES. This seems like a no-brainer, but wearing the glasses every day for one or two weeks will give you the best chance at getting used to the new prescription. If dizziness or the “off-balance” feeling is the issue, practice wearing them in a safe environment, such as when you get home and are doing chores or watching TV. Be extra careful if you are wearing them while driving and walking down flights of stairs.  


KEEP YOUR HEAD MOVEMENTS NATURAL. Often times, first time wearers stop moving their head as they normally would and move their eyes only. Let your eyes and head work together, turning your head towards something you want to look at rather than just moving your eyes. This will usually help to reduce headaches and dizziness.


CLEAN YOUR LENSES. Smudges on the lenses are distracting to anyone wearing glasses, but especially to a first-time wearer who is adjusting to a new prescription. Keep your lenses clean with a small drop of liquid soap and water, and wipe the lenses dry with your Honolulu Eye Clinic microfiber cleaning cloth.


Even patients who have been wearing glasses for years can go through an adaptation period. Changes in prescription, slight changes in the inner curves of the lens, or even changing into a different frame style can create the need for an adaptation period. If this happens to you, TRY NOT TO WEAR YOUR OLD GLASSES. Resist the urge to switch to an older pair during the adaptation period. We understand that you may feel more comfortable wearing the old prescription, but wearing the old glasses will not give you a chance to adjust to the new pair. Even switching back and forth from old to new can prolong the adaptation period.


Wearing your glasses full-time for one or two weeks is typically the best way to adapt to your new prescription, however, if after that time you still experience headaches and dizziness, call your eye doctor  to schedule an appointment. It may be possible that a correction to your lenses or the prescription may need to be made. 


For this week’s post, we have Dr. Jenifer Bossert, Optometrist and Director of Contact Lens Services at Honolulu Eye Clinic.  She recently appeared on KITV news to discuss serious dangers of improper contact lens storage which could be putting your eyes at risk.


In addition to disposing of your contact lenses in a  timely manner, here are a few other things you could consider:

When was the last time you really looked at your contact lens case?

When was the last time you actually replaced your contact lens case?

Did you even know you were supposed to replace it?

Several studies have confirmed that 70% to 82% of cases show contamination from overuse.  And only 26% of patients replace their cases periodically, 48% once per year, and the remainder, never!  Median frequency for cleaning cases was 2-3 times per week and one third cleaned only once per month!

Lens cases are hotbeds for bacteria and fungal colony growth…despite the addition of the Multi-Purpose Solution (MPS) contact lens solutions.  Cases are made from porous plastics.  Over time a “biofilm” coats the inner surface of the case.   This serves as a breeding ground for bacteria.  These bacteria become embedded in the pores of the case itself.  Even IF you properly follow contact lens cleaning and rinsing instructions, these nasty bacteria still find a way to grow.

When present, they can attach themselves to the micropores in the contact lens, multiply, and form this undetectable film on the contact lens, which is then transferred to the eye upon insertion.  These deposits irritate the cornea–the soft clear tissue on the front of the eye—causing the wearer to rub the eye and the eye to appear red.  The back and forth pressure from rubbing makes microscopic scratches on the surface of the eye. These small breaks in the tissue act as open pathways for the bacteria to invade the eye, thereby, increasing your risk for a bacterial infection and/or corneal ulcer.

Recent corneal infection in contact lens wearer at Honolulu Eye Clinic

Your best line of defense is following these instructions EVERY day:

  •  NEVER “top off” and reuse the solution in your case for a second day.
  •  After removing contact lenses, empty the case,  and rinse it with fresh MPS (not water).
  •  Turn it over (to keep the dust out) and let it air dry.
  •  REPLACE the case every 3 months.

Following these simple rules will reduce your risk of case and contact lens contamination.  Please remember that not all contact lens solutions are MPS (i.e. disinfecting) solutions so it is important to read the labels.  Saline is NOT a disinfecting solution.  If you have any questions regarding the proper solutions to use with your particular contact lenses, don’t hesitate to call and ask your doctor or the staff here at the Honolulu Eye Clinic!  We would love to hear from you!

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