Are Contact Lenses Better Than Glasses?

Medically Reviewed on 10/27/2020

Contact lenses vs glasses

One is not necessarily better than the other
One is not necessarily better than the other

Choosing to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction mostly depends on personal preferences, such as lifestyle, comfort, convenience, and budget. One is not necessarily better than the other; each has its pros and cons in terms of vision, ease of use, and eye health. Below are common advantages and disadvantages of contact lens and glasses:

Eyeglasses

Advantages:

  • Wearing glasses reduces the need to touch eyes, which in turn reduces the likelihood of irritating eyes or developing an eye infection.
  • Eyeglasses won't exacerbate the problem if a person has dry or sensitive eyes.
  • Eyeglasses generally are cheaper than contact lenses
  • Replacement is not often required unless broken and if prescription changes over time, then only lenses can be changed.
  • Frames are fashionable and may suit a person’s personality and style.
  • Glasses offer some protection from environmental factors, such as wind, dust, and debris.
  • The glasses may come with an ultraviolet guard that will protect the retina from harmful UV rays emitted by laptops and screens.

Disadvantages:

  • Eyeglasses sit about 12 mm (about a half-inch) from the eyes, so peripheral vision may be distorted.
  • People usually report difficulty focusing on objects and blurry vision when they first start wearing glasses or change prescriptions.
  • Some people don't like how they look in glasses and feel it detracts from their facial aesthetics or hides their features. The edges of lenses may be thick and unappealing, or glasses might make eyes appear unnaturally minified or magnified.
  • Eyeglasses can be affected by the elements, such as precipitation collecting on lenses or when they fog up in cold weather.
  • Some frames may exert constant pressure on your nose and behind your ears, leading to headaches and general discomfort.
  • Contact lenses

Advantages:

  • Contacts conform to the curvature of the eye, provide a wider field of view, and cause fewer vision distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses.
  • Contact lenses don't get in the way when playing sports and exercising.
  • Contacts typically aren't affected by weather conditions and won't fog up in cold weather.
  • People may experiment with different color contact lenses.
  • Some contact lenses can reshape with cornea while they sleep. Overnight orthokeratology (Ortho-k) temporarily corrects myopia, so a person can clearly see the next day without the need for glasses or contacts.

Disadvantages:

  • People may have trouble applying and removing a contact lens but proper technique and practice should rectify this in most cases.
  • Contacts reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the eye and can cause or increase the severity of dry eye syndrome.
  • Wearing contact lenses will likely contribute to symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
  • Contacts require proper lens care and lens case cleaning each day to avoid potentially serious eye infections.
  • Falling asleep while wearing daily wear contacts, may make eyes dry, gritty, red, and irritated.
  • Contacts are expensive to purchase and maintain.

People who have been wearing glasses for many years find it difficult to switch to contact lenses later. Although eyeglasses score high on a few parameters, contact lenses score similarly high on others. What may work for one occasion might not for the other and what may be brilliant in one situation might cause you trouble in another. What may be comfortable at one time might cause you pain at another.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/27/2020
References
Are contact lenses better than glasses? https://www.familyeyedoc.com/blog/are-contact-lenses-better-than-glasses