Contacts or glasses? Which one is better for you?
When speaking with our clients here at The Eye Place, we always say that it comes down to personal preference when deciding between eyeglasses or contact lenses. When making the decision things like lifestyle, comfort, convenience, budget and aesthetics should all be factored in.
Before deciding, keep in mind that one is not necessarily better than the other. Each has its pros and cons in terms of vision, ease of use and eye health.
Eyeglasses offer many benefits over contact lenses. They require very little cleaning and maintenance, you don’t need to touch your eyes to wear them (decreasing your risk for eye infections), and glasses are cheaper than contact lenses in the long run since they don’t need to be replaced as often.
Also, they can do something contact lenses cannot! They can adjust the amount of light entering your eye for optimum comfort and vision. Although some contact lenses can block some UV light from entering the eye, photochromic eyeglass lenses (also known as transitions or light-adaptive lenses) block 100% UV and protect not only the inside of the eye from UV, but the exterior of the eye and eyelids as well.
Glasses can also act as an extension of your personality and make a great fashion statement!
Having said all that, contact lenses have many advantages over glasses as well. Contacts sit directly on your eye, so vision, particularly peripheral vision, is unobstructed. You can participate in sports and outdoor activities without fear of them getting in the way, falling off or breaking. You can even change the color of your eyes with coloured contact lenses.
So, which are better for your particular needs and lifestyle? Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of each type to help you choose.
|Contacts conform to the curvature of your eye, providing a wider field of vision with less distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses||Some people have trouble applying a contact lens to their eye|
|Contact lenses don’t get in the way when playing sports or exercising||Contacts reduce the amount of oxygen reaching your eye and can cause or increase the severity of dry eye syndrome|
|Contact lenses won’t clash with what you’re wearing||Working at a computer often and wearing contact lenses will likely contribute to symptoms of computer vision syndrome (digital eye strain)|
|Contacts typically aren’t affected by weather conditions and won’t fog up in cold weather||Contacts require proper lens care and lens case cleaning each day. If you can’t commit to the care and recommended replacement cycle of your contacts, consider daily disposables|
|You can experiment with coloured contact lenses and even purchase special-effect contacts to match your Halloween or fancy-dress costume||If you accidentally fall asleep while wearing daily wear contacts, your eyes will be dry, gritty, red and irritated when you wake. You may wish to consider long-wear lenses that can last up to 30 days|
|Wearing glasses reduces the need to touch your eyes, which reduces the likelihood of irritating your eyes or developing an eye infection||Eyeglasses sit about 12mm from your eyes, so peripheral vision can be distorted.|
|If you have dry or sensitive eyes, glasses won’t exacerbate the problem||Some people don’t like how they look in glasses and feel it detracts from their facial aesthetics or hides their features|
|Eyeglasses generally are cheaper than contact lenses over the long term. You don’t need to replace glasses as often and if your prescription changes, you may be able to keep your current frames and just replace the lenses||If you have a strong prescription, the edges of your lenses may be thick and unappealing, or your glasses might make your eyes appear unnaturally minified or magnified.|
|Frames are fashionable and can speak volumes about your personality and style||Eyeglasses can be affected by the elements — your vision can be obstructed or blurred by precipitation collecting on your lenses or when they fog up|
|Glasses offer some protection from environmental factors such as wind, dust and debris||
Some frames can exert constant pressure on your nose and behind your ears, leading to headaches and general discomfort
Contact Lenses, Eyeglasses… Or Both?
Due to the many advances in contact lens technology, most people can wear contacts successfully, even if they prefer to wear glasses as their primary form of vision correction.
Keep in mind, though, that if you wear contact lenses full-time, you also should have an up-to-date pair of glasses. This is just in case you need to stop wearing contacts due to an eye infection or irritation, or you simply want to give your eyes a break.
If you’re still unsure or you have any eye-related questions, get in touch with our professional staff today!