There are plenty of choices in life that are based solely on preference. Apples or oranges, summer or winter, and cats or dogs are a few that come to mind. But is the answer to the question of glasses or contacts rooted in preference, or is there a definitive answer to the question are glasses or contacts are better?
The most efficient way to answer the question of glasses or contact lenses is to explore the pros and cons of both types of vision correction.
They are the easiest choice – slide your glasses on your face, and you are ready to go
You can choose from hundreds of frames. Your glasses can make a fashion statement. Some people like the frame choices so much that they get more than one pair.
You do not need to replace glasses often. Today’s glasses are made to last. Frequently patients will keep the same pair for years or until their vision changes.
You get some protection from wind, dust, and other elements. While your glasses are not on par with safety goggles, they do give your eyes some protection
They fog over, get smudges, and can scratch. While they are built to last, glasses are not indestructible.
Some people do not like how they look in glasses. Even though there are many frame choices, not everyone is comfortable with their appearance wearing glasses.
Glasses do not cover your whole field of vision. Your periphery is not aided by lenses at the front of your eyes.
Contacts do not interfere with safety or sports gear – they also do not impede your movement while active.
You have your entire field of vision. Contacts sit on your eyes, so you get assisted sight from any position.
They do not stand out – contacts go unnoticed on your face.
It may take time to get used to putting contacts in and taking them out
Contacts can make digital eye strain worse. While some contact lenses increase your eye strain while using the computer, contacts that account for computer screens are becoming more common.
You must give contacts proper care. Cleaning, replacing, and storing lenses correctly matters for your optical health and the usefulness of the contact lenses.
All things considered, glasses or contacts seem like a preference unless your eye doctor recommends one or the other for specific medical reasons.
Contact Lens FAQs
Even though contact lenses have been safe and effective for decades, there are still misconceptions that keep people from trying contacts. Here are the facts about contact lenses.
Are contact lenses much more expensive than glasses?
When you consider the cost of wearing each type of vision correction for a year, glasses are not much cheaper than contact lenses. If you require an extremely complex prescription, you may see a more significant price difference
Do I have to wear a new pair of contact lenses every day?
How often you change your contact lenses depends on the lens type and the manufacturer’s directions. While some types of contact lenses are single use and you use a fresh pair daily, other types of lenses can last much longer. Some popular lenses will last for two weeks or longer. However, you would need to remove them for sleeping and clean them with the proper solution. So, unfortunately, there is no single definitive answer to the question, “how long do contact lenses last?”.
Can I sleep with contact lenses in, or must I remove them each night?
Generally, sleeping with contact lenses is something you should avoid. If you sleep with your contact lenses in, you increase your risk of infection by between six to eight times. This happens because the lenses fit snugly, preventing tear fluid (which washes away bacteria) from flowing freely to keep the eye’s surface free from bacteria and safe from infection. By wearing your contacts overnight, you prevent the natural function of tears and expose yourself to several bacteria.
Additionally, wearing contacts while sleeping reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches your cornea. This damages its surface and diminishes its ability to regenerate new cells.
Do I have to choose between contacts or glasses, or can I get both?
It is fine to switch between wearing glasses and contacts. Many people do that as a way of having the best of worlds. For example, by opting to wear contacts during physical activity, there is less risk of damage to glasses, and your peripheral vision is better. Conversely, if you are struggling to get out the door on time, you may grab your glasses and go. Otherwise, you will need to spend time putting your contact lenses in before you can leave.
Whether you are getting an eye exam for your first corrective lenses or have been wearing glasses or contacts for many years, feel free to reach out to us. The staff at E Eye Place will make sure you get the personalised care you need. You will also be able to choose from the latest frames, comfortable contact lenses, or both.
Stephanie is an owner optometrist, researcher and educator. She has held clinical, teaching and research roles in Australia and overseas, and has extensive training and clinical experience. Stephanie is also the head optometrist at E Eye Place, on top of this, she is also currently a PhD candidate at UNSW. Dr Stephanie Yeo Optometrist BOptom (HC1) GradCertOcTher DOPT (Merit) CO Ophthalmic Medicines Prescriber.