There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing between contact lenses and eyeglasses for vision correction. Which better suits your lifestyle? Your aesthetic? Your budget? And, most importantly, which one is better for your overall eye health?
One is not necessarily better than the other. Each has pros and cons, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide what works best. This also does not need to be an absolute either/or choice. Many people choose to switch between the two!
Contacts vs. Glasses — Pros and Cons
Eyeglasses offer many benefits. They require very little maintenance, and you don’t have to touch your eyes in order to wear them, which can reduce the chance of eye infection. In addition, they are more budget-friendly since they don’t have to be replaced as often as contacts. Glasses can also be crafted to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays. Finally, frames come in endless colors, shapes, and styles which allow eyeglasses to act as a fashion statement!
Glasses can be expensive to replace if lost and are easily affected by the weather. Also, because glasses sit about a half-inch away from your eyes, peripheral vision can be distorted.
Contacts, on the other hand, sit directly on your eyes, so vision is crisp, completely unobstructed, and with less vision distortions than glasses. They don’t get in the way when exercising or playing sports and aren’t affected by weather conditions.
Contacts can’t make a direct fashion statement. However, you can change the color of your eyes with colored contact lenses, which allows you to slightly update your look without wearing eyeglasses that may clash with what you are wearing.
Please note that colored contacts purchased from costume stores or online can cause infections and changes in your eyesight, and you should always talk to your eye doctor about colored contacts before purchasing/wearing them.
However, contacts are not for everybody. Some people have trouble putting their contact lenses directly in their eyes. Contacts require proper care and cleaning to avoid eye infections and you should never wear them while you sleep. Daily disposable contact lenses are your best option if the recommended care seems like too much of a commitment.
We recommend daily disposable contact lenses because they’re easy to use and reduce your risk of an eye infection. To learn more, read 5 Reasons Why Dailies Contacts Are the Smart Choice!
Which Are Better For Your Eyes?
Both glasses and contacts are perfectly capable of correcting your vision. However, some prescription types may work better than others.
For example, stronger prescriptions require thicker lenses. In this case, contacts would be a much more comfortable option. People with astigmatism might also benefit from a special type of contact lenses over glasses, but if you suffer from an eye disease or certain eye conditions, contacts may irritate your eyes.
After a complete comprehensive eye exam, your doctor can help you understand whether contacts or glasses are better for you based on your prescription and overall eye health. While a comprehensive eye exam is required before getting contacts, there are some differences between a comprehensive exam and a contact lens exam.
Read Types of Eye Exams: Contact Lens Exams vs. Comprehensive to learn more!
Should You Have Both?
As we mentioned earlier, a lot of people have both contact lenses and eyeglasses. Extensive wear of contacts can make your eyes feel dry or strained, so having a pair of glasses is always a nice option. Or, you can simply choose based on your plans for the day or what you’re wearing!
Alternating between contacts and glasses can help prevent issues with:
- Dry eye
Switching between contacts and glasses is one of the best ways to keep your eyes resilient by giving them time to rest. Your eyes need a break to breathe, and switching to glasses at the end of every day is a great opportunity for your eyes to reset.
Allergy season is unavoidable and can lead to eye irritation. Contacts can trap allergens and irritants under the lens, which can cause extreme discomfort. Carrying a backup pair of glasses when this happens is a great solution that will restore your clear and comfortable vision.
However, contact lenses and glasses require two different prescriptions since glasses sit slightly away from your eye and contact lenses sit directly on the eye. Make sure to talk with your eye doctor about this before purchasing a pair of glasses with the same prescription that is on your contacts.
Choose Eyeglasses or Contacts Based on Your Lifestyle
Something very important to consider is your lifestyle. Do you have seasonal allergies? Live a sedentary or physically active lifestyle? Work behind a screen or spend most of your day outside?
Contact lenses may be easier to wear when being active and are easier to keep up with, but they can become more easily irritated and uncomfortable during allergy season. Eyeglasses are generally cheaper, but easier to break or misplace and can place an uncomfortable weight on your face.
Something else to consider is that contacts require much more care and cleaning, so if you have a hard time keeping up with your stuff, you might be better off with lower-maintenance glasses or daily disposable contacts.
There are a lot of factors that could affect your decision. To help cut through the confusion, we put together a short quiz to help you determine whether glasses or contacts are better for your lifestyle!
Are you ready to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for new glasses or contacts? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
Hardin Valley Eyecare & Optical has been serving Knoxville since 2009. Dr. Travis Thompson and Dr. Catherine Abbott specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of eye diseases, conditions, and problems and are committed to improving the quality of life in the Knoxville community through enhanced vision. Located at 10904 Spring Bluff Way, you can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (865) 888-0892.