Unexplainable Problems with New Lenses

by Georgios

Q: My old glasses where polycarbonate and the filters where destroyed. My new glasses are organic with the same characteristics and on the same frame. I asked that they were the same as the old ones.

The first day I wore them I felt a lot of pain on my left eye and occasional pain behind my left ear. No headache. They colours also seemed different especially on the PC. Can't say if better or worse. At the end of the day I started having blurred/double vision and could not see properly so I put back the old lenses. For the first day when I had no glasses I had a slight loss of balance.

After seven days that the pain faded away I put again the new lenses. At that time I had more pain on my right eye and by the end of the day I had blurry/double vision and occasional pain behind my right ear. No headache. I also noticed big and very visible halos around lights. I do have those anyway but they are not that visible and annoying.

I went to an optician and an ophalmologist and they could not explain the problem. What is your opinion? Should I try new polycarbonate lenses?

A: Hello Georgios,

About your problem, I have to admit it is a strange one. First things first:

1. You must know that the polycarbonate lens has slightly different refraction properties than plastic or glass lenses, this due the material properties, so, sometimes you can feel this differences as vision distortions. You have progressive lenses; which is more sensitive to refraction (multiple diopters in a small area). What I'm trying to say is that not always to change is good. You got used to the polycarbonate and turned to plastic, maybe this is a cause of the trouble.

2. One other reason can be the faulty mounting of the lens in the frame. If the mounting is not right, it can easily distort your vision and create vision problems as you described.

3. It happens that the new lenses have factory defects. Sometimes the lens can have diopter problems, centering problems, scratches (small ones that you cannot see, but they modify the lens proprieties), layering problems (anti-reflective, hardening layer). All this is rare but possible problems.
I remember one time I had an impossible problem like this and because I run out of ideas, I sent back the lenses and asked to check them for problems. I couldn't see anything on them, but they did and changed the lenses, so it is possible.

4. You should exclude some retinal problems or intraocular lens problems (like cataract). I say this because you mentioned the light halo you see. Maybe if you make a full ophthalmological exam, you can exclude other eye-related problems that can generate this symptom.

I hope you will find the problem and if it is not too much, can I ask you to tell us also if you find it, so other readers can benefit from your experience?

Thank you and hope this helps,

Comments for Unexplainable Problems with New Lenses

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Oct 01, 2016
New glasses
by: Anonymous

I have just gotten new glasses with polycarbonate lenses and am having trouble with focusing an distortion problems when I turn my head just a little bit.

Objects go out of focus and tilt. What causes this to happen?

Oct 21, 2016
Answer - New glasses
by: Arpi


It is known that polycarbonate lenses have a little bit of distortion at the edges because of the material and the production process.

This distortion is noticeable at higher diopters and specially at the periphery of the lens. So, higher the diopters and bigger the frame, more distortions.
This is one of the few disadvantages the polycarbonate has.

The solution is the aspheric lens and maybe a smaller frame, this decreases the chance that distortion will appear.

If not, if you are looking for a durable lens, you may consider the trivex lenses.

Hope this helps,

Oct 21, 2016
by: Georgios

I ended up buying a new frame and lenses. Similar pain but more tolerable. After 2 months the pain got away. My old prescription had about 3 points of added PD. Maybe my getting used to it caused the problem with the new correct PD.

Oct 21, 2016
About the distortions
by: Georgios

Provided your prescription is correct distortions are normal during the first week.

If you can't get over it you should ask for freeform or digital lenses to minimize distortions. They are a bit more expensive though.

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