Can Progressive Lenses Make Your Eyes Worse?


Yes, progressive lenses could make your eyes worse temporarily. There are four big reasons that could make your vision worse.

Most of the problems that can occur with progressive lenses are due to:

  • False expectation due to misleading marketing images
  • The lenses are not centered correctly in front of your eyes
  • The refraction was not done properly
  • A different prescription in your left and right eye could lead to problems as you perform eye movements

All those mentioned bullet points could lead to:

  • Dizzyness
  • Blurriness
  • Headaches
  • Double Vision
  • Worse depth perception

The question is why is that and how you could avoid it or get rid of it if you have one of those problems right now.

Why Could You Think Your Eyes Got Worse With Your Progrissives?

First of all, if you see something during the consultation process and the optician tells you about the extremely wide view you will get that ist what you expect. Of course right? We tend to believe what we see and hear. Especially if you have no clue about the topic.

As soon as you look at the picture on the left you will notice the cloudy white space in the lower half of the picture. This marked space is not visible but it is blurry as soon as your eyes start to wander into those fields.

And of course, do many people think that somehow progressive lenses make their eyes got worse because what they´ve got is the left picture but what they bought was the idea of the picture on the right side.

So it is oftentimes the consultation which leads to some unrealistic expectations. But what happens if your eyes actually got worse with progressive lenses even in the clear field of view.

The Wrong Prescription Could Make Your Eyes Temporarily Worse – How to Check If Your Progressives Are Right?

You should see clearly while reading and in the distance. It could be a bit unfamiliar to point your nose into the direction you want to see sharp in but that time will come. If you can read and distance vision looks great – That is a great sign. But if you notice a decrease in your visual acuity and you can not read or the distance seems blurry the optician should check the reason immediately.

Do Progressive Lenses Make Your Eyes Worse If the Centration Is Not Right?

Yes definitely. Both eyes should be able to see clearly at the same time in front of you as you read and in the distance. As soon as the centration is off. You will have worse vision either in distance or while reading. The reason therefor is blurry fields that will be more dominant in your field of view.

What to Do If Your Eyes Get Worse With Progressive Glasses Due to a Different Prescription in One Eye Compared to the Other.

A big factor when it comes to uneasiness or even double vision is how big the differences are in your prescription. This difference is called anisometropia and is oftentimes no part whatsoever in the consultation in most opticians. But it is crucial because it could lead to double vision or a loss of depth of perception. Look at this short clip below.

Did you notice the picture of the pen moves vividly in one lens and there is hardly any movement in the other lens. Those effects are more dominant with a stronger imbalance of your right and left eye. What happens as soon as you look through the lens? The picture will move far more for one eye compared to the other.

To some extent, your eye muscles can compensate for this effect. With a single vision lens, you are not forced to use eye movements to get into another part of the lens. because there is no change in the prescription. But you are forced to move your eyes in a progressive lens to be able to read.

The more you need to look down the more you could experience the different movements of the pictures in the right and left eye. That´s why it might be a good idea to minimize the way you need to look down to get full reading support.

This can be done easily with a short progressive lens design. Because the shorter the lens the less you need to look down. One thing I should mention is with the testing frame you will always have a difference to your progressive lenses when it comes to prismatic changes due to anisometropia.

The reason is the points that are comparable for the prismatic power is below your eyes if you look into the distance in your progressive glasses. But in the testing frame, it is centered directly over your pupils. Look at the picture below to see what I mean.

So you can not get away with not having prismatic effects in glasses. That simply is impossible. But they do not have to make your eyes worse. One thing I mentioned is to change the lens design to a shorter one. The other option you have is to get checked how good your eyes play together. In some cases, prisms could do the job for you to counter anisometropia.

If you move your head during special measurements or when the testing frame is centered lower the optician could tell you if this would actually make sense for you.

Why Did I Say Progressive Lenses Could Make Your Eyes Worse Temporarily?

As soon as the problems with your progressive lenses get fixed you will see good again. The same is true for your eyes if you put them off. Then you do not have the effects of progressive glasses anymore. So the dizziness, blurriness, and whatnot will go away. Because as soon as you put them off the effects of the lenses are gone.

I hope the article gave you the information you had not before. If you experience problems with your progressive lenses or you think your vision is worse with your progressives you should make an appointment with your optician. I wish you a great day.

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