My glasses were a great deal! Why don’t they work?

There are so many possibilities for this.  I’ll go over a few of the most common

  • It was not filled in the correct prescription. Your doctor may have written it correctly but especially if they were ordered online, it may not have been filled that way.  Or you may have put a number or a sign in the wrong place.  Or maybe you did it completely correctly. Often times online sources don’t fill a prescription accurately.
  • The glasses are not set correctly. What does that mean? It means you are not looking through the proper part of the lens to see.  If you have prescription glasses not looking through the correct area can cause blur and even double vision.  This probably the number one problem I see with the glasses were bought online, at CostCo, or Warby. Often the measurements are completely wrong and the patient is not looking through the correct part of the lens. I am sometimes horrified to find out that when doing single vision glasses some of the less expensive places don’t take the proper measurements. Having a PD correct does not mean your glasses will be set correctly.   There is a skill in taking these measurements. Especially with progressives.
  • It is an outdated lens design and there is so much distortion the patient cannot wear them. This, as well as the setting, are the top reasons why patients are unable to wear a progressive.  They start out in a cheap version, not measured correctly, with old technology, and are never taught how to use the lenses when they first pick them up.  They are unable to use the lenses and then feel progressives just aren’t for them.  I have taken many patients that thought they could not wear a progressive and had them fit properly and they do just fine.
  • There is no anti-reflective coating. If you don’t put this coating on the lens, it’s glare city.  You lose quite a bit of what could be glare free vision. Especially driving at night.
  • The frame style isn’t right for your prescription and what you want to use them for. When we pick frames, we always start with the prescription.  If you wear a progressive that narrow frame will cut off a considerable amount of near vision. Or maybe they are your reading glasses but they sit so high on your face you see underneath them unless you crane your neck down. We are experts in this. If you don’t know, come in and we will fit you.
  • The frame is way too big. If you have high prescription and a huge frame it will cause a ton of distortion in the periphery of the lens and be difficult to use. It’s hard to tell this without trying the frame on.
  • Your eyes are not well centered. Again, with higher prescriptions this will worsen your vision.


When it’s time to replace those not-so-great glasses come visit us for your next pair.  We can usually figure out why they aren’t working with a short conversation and get you on the right track.  We have staff with over 40 years of expertise in fitting glasses that can make the glasses functional as well as fashionable.

Dr. Susan Elizondo

Dr. Susan Elizondo

Dr. Susan Elizondo has been practicing optometry for 10 years, and proudly took ownership of Westlake Hills Vision Center in 2019. She has a passion for nutrition and practices a plant based approach to health and healing.

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