Eye pain from wearing glasses is common and often originates from the consistent use of heavy frames or improperly fitted eyeglasses. Glasses that are too small can pinch and squeeze, while those that are too large may shift and slip. Frames with either fit problem can put pressure on your nose or the sides of your head, causing headaches or discomfort. Frames that sit too close or too far from your eyes can be uncomfortable, too.
Let's explore some possible reasons you might experience eye pain when you wear your glasses.
If it has been more than a year since your last eye exam, it’s probably time to have your vision checked. Experts recommend a comprehensive eye exam every one to two years. How do you know whether you need glasses? Only a trained eye doctor can tell you for sure.
Your optometrist may have warned you that a brand new prescription can cause blurry vision, eye strain, or headaches even with correctly sized frames and lenses. In most cases, this eye pain will pass in a day or two, as adjusting to a new prescription can take a little time.
While resting your eyes by removing your glasses may help with discomfort as you adapt to your new prescription, you should wear your eyeglasses as your optometrist recommends. If you repeatedly remove your glasses, your eyes and brain must work harder, and adjusting will take longer. If you wear the glasses as prescribed, any vision issues should resolve within a week. If a week has passed and you’re still experiencing discomfort, check in again with your eye doctor to see if your prescription needs adjusting.
Incorrectly adjusted frames or lenses can cause a headache when you’re wearing your glasses. Your glasses lenses are customized to fit the distance between your pupils, or PD measurement. Blurry or uncomfortable vision could relate to an incorrect PDyour eye doctor can confirm that the lenses in your glasses include the appropriate measurement.
Your frames should rest comfortably in a position that puts the lenses at the proper distance from your eyes. Heavy glasses or an incorrect frame adjustment can cause pain behind the ears if the temples pinch into the sides of your head. Frames that are too small can bind, and frames that are too loose may slip down your nose or rest in the wrong place, so your eyes have to work harder to compensate. An optician can adjust your frames to ensure your glasses fit properly.
Eye strain comes from the overworking of muscles around the eye that must continually adjust to focus. Repeated attempts to focus occur for different reasons, including acclimating to a new prescription. But eye strain is also a common problem among computer users.
Wearing reading glasses while using the computer is a habit that often causes eye strain. Remember, reading glasses are for close-up workcloser than the normal distance between you and a monitor. Speak with your eye doctor to ensure you’re using the appropriate lens power for viewing your computer screen.
Eye strain can happen to anyone who spends a lot of time looking at screens, whether they wear glasses or not. Simple eyestrain fixes include adjusting the lighting in your workspace and following the 20-20-20 rule: Look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
The effects of screen-related eye strain can be mitigated with a variety of lens options. A digital light protection coating can filter out about 20% of harmful blue light and help to reduce glare. Digital light protection can be applied to prescription or non-prescription lenses, so even people who don’t normally wear glasses can protect their eyes against screen-related discomfort. Anti-reflective lens coatings can cut down on screen glare and eye strain. Finally, looking through scratched lenses may cause eye discomfort, so replace your lenses as necessary.
While you may hear about eye strain in conjunction with the use of digital screens, this common condition characterized by dry, itchy, watery eyes and blurred vision can also be caused by wearing the incorrect prescription, or glasses that don't fit properly. Eye strain is not necessarily dangerous, and does not cause long-lasting damage, so if you're experiencing dry or itchy eyes with a new set of glasses, allow your eyes a few days to adjust.
Eye strain or pain caused by a new prescription should clear up after a few days, or up to two weeks at the most. If you experience eye strain for more than two weeks with a new pair of frames, consult with your eye doctor to ensure you've received the proper prescription. If you're experiencing eye strain from prolonged use of screens, usually taking a break for a few hours will help it pass.
The best way to relieve eye strain is to give your eyes periodic breaks throughout the day. Sit in a darkened room without your frames for fifteen minutes at a time, and allow your eyes and the muscles around them to relax. Don't take your glasses off for longer than about fifteen minutes at a time, though, as the only way to adjust to them fully is to wear them consistently throughout the day. For digital eye strain, always opt for anti-reflective and blue light-filtering coatings in your lenses. Whether or not you choose not to wear glasses, we also recommend practicing the ten-ten-ten method throughout the day to reduce digital eye fatigue. Focus on an object at least ten feet away for ten seconds every ten minutes when using a LED display or computer screen.
Eyeglasses are supposed to make your vision clearer and more comfortable. If they seem to be doing the opposite, these tips should point you in the right direction. Even if you’re not experiencing headaches or discomfort, visit your eye doctor annually to discover and correct vision problems.
*Harmful blue light: up to 455nm with the greatest toxicity between 415-455nm, is only one contributing factor of retinal aging.