Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why do things look smaller with my new glasses?

I'm in Australia and I picked up my new glasses yesterday.  I wear graduated glasses, and my optometrist said my script had not changed very much and I wouldn't notice too much of a difference.  I went to a new place this time for my eye test and glasses.  I am finding it a bit hard to get used to the new glasses but I just assume being new and a different script it will be a little bit of adjustment.  Here is the really strange thing though  I've never had this happen before when changing a script.  I went grocery shopping afterward and all the food on the shelves was smaller.  And I don't mean by just a fraction.  I mean between 20 and 25%!  Also, I use an iMac computer at home, and It's also smaller by up to 20-25%.  Why sould this be happening?  Even though the lens is from a different company the girl said to me that they were going to use a similar lens to the ones I had in my old glasses.   Sharon

Thanks for your question.  You mention a problem with glasses that most glasses wearers aren't aware of, but happens quite frequently - just not to the degree that you are experiencing.  Three things can cause images to look smaller with a new pair of glasses.  One - if the doctor increased the amount of correction in your glasses for nearsightedness or astigmatism, or decreased the amount of correction for farsightedness, it would make images appear smaller.  Decreasing the thickness of the lenses would also alto the image size.  Changing the base curve (how steeply the front and back curve of the lenses are curved) sill also cause an image size difference.  If your eye exam was performed  properly and your new glasses made correctly, none of these changes would cause a 20-25% change by itself, but all of them added together might.  When you mention that you wear 'graduated' lenses, I assume that you mean progressive addition lenses or aspheric single vision lenses.  Neither of these should cause image minification.  My advise would be to take your new glasses to your doctor and have them compare the thickness, curve, and prescription of the new glasses to the old glasses so you determine if they are indeed similar.  If they won't, or you don't adapt to the new glasses,  I would get a second opinion.
Dr. Felker