Are Glasses or Contacts Better for Your Eyes?

 In Eye Care

Often patients ask us – Are glasses or contacts better for your eyes? The choice is highly personal depending on your vision, needs, lifestyle, and preferences.

Of course, you don’t always have to choose between glasses and contacts. Some people opt for both depending on the situation or their mood that day. Many vision plans provide either a pair of glasses or a year’s supply of contact lenses each year. Some people who wear both alternates between the two or purchase a smaller quantity of lenses out-of-pocket.

Keep in mind that the following information is purely an educational starting point. Since every person’s visual health is unique, it isn’t a replacement for professional care. Instead, it is a starting point so you are better able to have an informed conversation with your optometrist.

Are Glasses or Contacts Better for Your Eyes? – Here Are a Few Things to Consider

While most people can choose either option, there are a few things to consider before you choose. There is no right or wrong answer to – are glasses or contacts better for your eyes. So much of this is a matter of personal choice and lifestyle.

First, how well do you follow instructions? Wearing contact lenses requires that you follow specific guidelines and hygiene routines in order to avoid discomfort or infection. Also, most lenses are disposable requiring you to replace them every month or according to another prescribed schedule. Many people have a different prescription for their right eye than their left eye. If this applies, you also need to consistently store each lens in the correct case and apply them to the correct eye.

Next, does your vision needs require that you choose one or the other? Contact lenses have come a long way, in the past people with certain conditions like astigmatism were not able to wear them. In most cases, this is not true anymore. However, even with developments in contact lens technology, some people still find one option offers better vision correction for their needs than the other.

Finally, how will you manage your UV protection? Contact lens wearers usually still need to wear sunglasses when driving or outside. After all, UV rays are the leading cause of premature aging of the eyes. Also, people who use computers throughout the day may prefer blue light or glare filtering glasses. Of course, contact lens wearers could opt for non-prescription sunglasses and computer glasses if necessary.

Now that we discussed a few general considerations, we will explore some of the pros and cons of wearing glasses or wearing contact lenses. As earlier mentioned, this isn’t an absolute either/or choice. Some people opt to wear glasses at work but contacts when they go out or for special occasions. Some switch between the two according to their preferences on any given day. Check out the pros and cons of both to find out the answer to – are glasses or contacts better for your eyes.

Pros and Cons for Glasses

Glasses are typically the least expensive, easiest and most convenient option for vision correction. Even if you opt for contact lenses, you will probably want a basic pair of glasses to wear if you feel tired or ill and prefer not to touch your eyes.

Benefits of Opting for Glasses

  • Ease of use: Glasses are the easiest option, you simply put them on or take them off.
  • Fashion-forward: If you like to accessorize changing the style of your glasses also changes your look. With so many on-trend options some fashionistas choose to purchase a couple of pairs of glasses to coordinate with their outfit and the occasion.
  • If you need blue light filtering or UV correction, you may opt for special lenses for additional protection.
  • Glasses can help keep your eyes safe in certain working and athletic environments. For example, if you work in a lab or woodshop, we highly recommend that you wear safety glasses while working. If you play sports involving flying balls or debris, like squash, sports glasses or goggles protect your eyes.
  • If you are especially light-sensitive you may prefer photochromic lenses that adjust to the presence of UV or other light.

Cons of Wearing Glasses

  • Depending on your prescription, some people find that glasses distort their vision, especially around the frame’s edges.
  • Glasses tend to steam up or collect droplets of water in the rain.
  • Some people just don’t like the way glasses look or feel.

Pros and Cons for Contacts

Contact lenses are available to more people than they were in the past. Some find them an attractive option for a variety of reasons.

Benefits of Opting for Contacts

  • For many people, the vision correction from contact lenses feels more natural compared to glasses. Some contact lens wearers are especially impressed with how contacts may improve their peripheral vision since the lenses site directly on the eye.
  • Contact lenses are appearance-neutral meaning they don’t alter how you look.
  • Contacts don’t fog up or get wet from the rain.
  • Have you ever wished your eyes were a different color? With contacts, it is easier to change your eye color than your hair color.

Cons of Wearing Contacts

  • In order to apply and remove contacts, you must get comfortable touching the eye. For some people, this is a deal-breaker.
  • Good hygiene and cleanliness are crucial when applying, removing, cleaning, and storing contact lenses. Otherwise, you may experience cloudy vision or even eye infection.
  • Contact lenses cause dry eyes for some people. Appropriate eye drops help, but some find them uncomfortable to wear.
  • If you are a daily lap swimmer, you may find contact lenses less convenient than glasses since you would need to remove them in a clean environment before swimming.

Discuss Any Questions or Concerns with Your Eye Doctor

We hope this blog post answers your question – Are glasses or contacts better for your eyes? As you may now understand, the answer varies depending on the person. The best way to decide is to have a frank discussion with your eye doctor.

At Piedmont Eye Care, we recommend that everyone have a comprehensive eye examination annually or according to your prescribed schedule.

This is not only to keep your prescription current, but it is also to make an early diagnosis of any developing vision health issues like glaucoma. Sometimes these conditions show no noticeable symptoms initially, but an early diagnosis helps maintain your vision and your health.

Contact us today if you are a Charlotte, NC resident who needs to schedule an annual vision exam.

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