Difficulty Adapting to Eyeglasses

by Tiffany

Q: I have been having great difficulty adapting to eyeglasses and would greatly appreciate your advice and input.

Just a little background info:

I am a 47 yo female. At age 42, I noticed a change in my vision which seemed like literally overnight. I struggled with severe eye strain, headaches etc. I was initially prescribed reading glasses at a low prescription of +5. Prior to this, I had excellent vision and had never worn glasses.

At age 43, I was diagnosed with convergence insufficiency. I consulted with an ophthalmologist and an optometrist. I completed a several months of “vision therapy” which I noticed little improvement though I was told with great confidence by my doctor that I could expect great improvement.

My current optometrist recommended a progressive lens as I was still having discomfort and she felt wearing a full time lens would help me. She put me in a Hoya (My Style) lens w/Trivex.

My current prescription is +1.75 with 1BI prism.

I wore these for several months as much as I could tolerate. Initially, I had headaches, nausea and could only wear them for a few minutes at a time. I was able to work up to wearing them a few hours at a time but could not tolerate wearing them all day. These lenses were put into a lightweight, rimless but flimsy frame that added to the aggravation. After more than one adjustment, they still would slide on my face or fall off when I would bend down or drop me head.

I want to try another progressive again but need some insightful advice from someone who is very knowledgeable with recommending lenses for specific needs/issues. I have done some research online as well as talking with opticians at a few eyeglass shops only to become more confused as to what work best for me.

The main need for my eyeglasses is for close-up and intermediate vision. No prescription would be added to the top for distance but I would wear them full time. I know this is a simple and mild prescription and I don’t know why I am having such negative symptoms with adaption. I would like a lens that has a large corridor, excellent clarity (least amount of distortion/aberrations) and would be the easiest to adapt to and wear full-time.

Also, I do have a petite face with my eyes spaced fairly close together. Finding a frame that fits my face and allows for the lens space needed for a progressive has been challenging.

Any particular type of frame you may recommend? (rimmed, semi-rimmed, rimless plastic….adjustable noise piece vs. plastic??)

A: Hello Tiffany,

Seeing what you wrote, there are some things I do not understand, so I don’t see the point of them. But see below:

It is said that you have the convergence insufficiency if you experience headaches, eyestrain, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, double vision, movement of print while reading, etc. These symptoms are usually discovered in youth or childhood and not over-night as you said is on your case at 42.

But, if you have all this and the diagnostic is real and documented, the best treatment should be the vision therapy indeed.

This is the part I do not understand:

Why do you have progressive eyeglasses if you do not have a far vision prescription?

Wearing varifocal lenses with “0” diopters for the far vision it seems to me expensive and maybe not the best choice (for your condition).

I also saw that you have a prism diopter for the vision therapy. In my opinion, this is why you cannot accommodate to the progressive lenses.

The prism effect can be really hard to put up with in some cases and you can blame it for the headaches and the dizziness. The prism is only added if you can adapt to it, it is not a cure, is just for treating the symptoms.

My advice is like this:

You should try a pair of glasses without the prism

Clearly you cannot adjust to prism so it does more bad than good for you. In time, maybe you can add it again at the second or the third pair of eyeglasses. But this first one should be easy to wear, with no additions so you can adjust easier to them.

From my experience, I can tell you that the only eyeglass that is harder to adjust than the progressive eyeglasses is the progressive eyeglass with prism lenses…. ( especially if are your first glasses )

Your have only near vision problems

You do not have any far vision problems, so try a pair of eyeglasses only with intermediary and close vision lenses (degressive or office lenses, computer lenses).

You don’t need to wear them all the time, or you can look above them for the far vision.

Adapting to eyeglasses with intermediate and close vision lenses is easier. Moreover, they are cheaper and more efficient. As the name states, you will use them only for reading and computer.

The frame

The first condition for a frame (especially for the progressive lenses) is to be steady.

Because you have a fixed interpupillary distance and a fixed position of your eyes, any movement of the frame destabilizes the vision with the symptoms that follows (headaches, dizziness).

I think, the shape of the frame or the type is not that important to see better, and is your personal choice. Instead is mandatory to be a stable frame, to stay fixed on your eyes without hurting your nose or ears being too tight.

For smaller faces, there are special progressive lenses with a shorter distance between the far vision part and the close view part so they fit in smaller frames. But they are more expensive and in your case, I would not recommend them.

For any other questions do not hesitate to write me again.

Related Information

Progressive Lenses

Prism Eyeglasses

Eyeglass Frame Size

Hope this helps,

Comments for Difficulty Adapting to Eyeglasses

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Jan 17, 2018
Bad advice
by: Anonymous

I do not know what qualifications these people have who are answering the questions but this is a terrible answer! I am a Licensed Optician AND someone who wears progressives with base in prism and a very mild distance RX. My convergence insufficiency was diagnosed in my 30s. There are two reasons this is the case...convergence issues are not screened for in basic school screenings and I did not have the benefit of regular eye exams (as is the case with many children with 'normal' vision) and because, while I was young, my eyes were able to compensate for the imbalance. There are a dozen reasons why someone might be having trouble adapting to a progressive...poor choice of lens design, bad measurements, poor frame choice being the most common. This is all the more reason to seek the services of a QUALIFIED professional.

Mar 27, 2018

by: Endre

Everyone can see in the About section who we are... Unlike you hiding under anonymity.

And the only reason we're here is to help for Free.


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