While most people have a preference for glasses or contacts, there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer; when you look at the facts, each has its pros and cons. Factors like lifestyle, convenience, comfort, budget, and style determine which option is better for you, and for some, wearing glasses and contacts equally may be the best option.
Let's take a closer look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of contacts and glasses.
Your optician can help you decide what type of contacts would maximize the benefits and minimize the drawbacks of contacts for you.
Just about anyone. Contact lens technology has progressed so that there are contact lenses to correct a wide variety of vision problems.
Modern contact lenses are healthy for your eyes, as long as you disinfect or replace them as often as directed. That will be daily, weekly, monthly, or longer, depending on the kind of contacts you choose. Problems can occur if you do not take proper care when handling and disinfecting the contacts or do not dispose of them as frequently as directed.
Both glasses and contacts can be made into bifocal, trifocal, and even progressive lenses.
People with astigmatisma condition in which the eye is more oval than round, causing visual distortioncan wear either glasses or contacts. Contacts can be as effective or more effective than glasses for people with astigmatism.
Glasses are generally less expensive in the long run because they do not need to be replaced as often. However, if your glasses break, they can be expensive to replace.
People who wear contacts should also own a pair of glasses. Generally, you can't wear your contacts 24/7, so glasses are a good idea for the "off" time. And for those who wear glasses more frequently, contacts can be convenient at times you would prefer their look or performance.
Contact lens prescriptions are different from eyeglass prescriptions, and unfortunately, you cannot convert between the two prescriptions. Your eye doctor can provide accurate prescriptions for either or both, so if you’re not sure whether you’ll be wearing only glasses or only contact lenses, ask for prescriptions for both at your next visit.
While some people feel like they see better with contacts, others feel they do with glasses. There are a few reasons why you may see better while wearing contacts or glasses, versus experiencing the same visual clarity between the two. One reason is the prescription for either your glasses or contacts may be outdated, easily remedied. As noted above, the prescriptions for the two are not interchangeable and if you haven’t received an updated prescription for either recently, it may be time to schedule a visit to your eye doctor to get checked for a new prescription.
Another reason you may see better or more comfortably with contacts than glasses is a condition called anisometropia. This perception of different image sizes can be caused when switching between contacts and glasses and will often make you feel like you see better with contacts, as there is no image minimization or maximization with contacts. When you switch to glasses, however, the glasses lenses account for farsightedness and nearsightedness with a plus or minus prescription, which makes images larger or smaller, respectively. This change in how you see through your glasses lenses versus your contact lenses may account for why you see better with contacts.
Athletes and active types have some special concerns when deciding between contact lenses and prescription eyeglasses.
Some of the best contact lenses for sports are multifocal contacts, which improve near and distant vision quality simultaneously. These are especially beneficial for people over the age of forty who may have multiple prescriptions.
Contemporary designs and technologies have greatly enhanced the performance of traditional glasses. No-slip grips at the temple tips and fog-resistant lenses make glasses more comfortable and convenient than ever before. You may also consider prescription sunglasses for primarily outdoor activities; these will properly adjust your vision while blocking blinding sunlight.
Our best recommendation for athletes and active hobbyists alike is to keep both contact lenses and glasses on hand. In the event your eyes become too irritated to wear contacts, your glasses will be a welcome fallback. In the reverse situation, when your regular glasses fog up, get streaked with rain, slip out of place, or they’re subjected to impacts, you can swap out for contacts. Whichever your main preference, it doesn't hurt athletes to keep each option available in the spirit of expecting the unexpected.
Whether you want to wear contacts every day or plan on just occasional wear, you and your optometrist will need to decide which type of contact lens is right for you. Some factors to consider are:
Hard contact lenses are more durable than soft lenses and maintain their shape better, but they do require a longer adjustment period than soft contacts. Soft contact lenses are known for their comfort. Most are made to wear during the day and remove at night, but extended wear varieties can be worn continuously for 24 hours or more. Some soft lenses are disposable and made to wear for a specified amount of time—sometimes as little as a day—and then thrown out. Other types of soft lenses are designed to last for a year when properly cleaned and disinfected.
When you have your eye exam, your eye doctor will determine the prescription you need to correct your vision, and will also measure your eyes so that the contacts will fit comfortably. You can then buy the contacts from the optometrist or order your contacts online. The cost of the contact lens depends on which type you and your eye care specialist have decided on. Many times, lower prices are available online than at the eye doctor's office. Some insurance plans cover the cost of contacts; check into this before your appointment.
To order contacts online, you will need a prescription from your eye doctor that is less than a year old.
While many people buy their contacts directly from their optometrist, purchasing contacts online will usually save you money. Many people also enjoy the convenience of having the contacts delivered right to their door, and the ability to shop around for the best deal. However, you will want to make sure you order from a reputable company with great products and customer servicecheck the Better Business Bureau or other online source for reviews.
Check our website for rebates, contact lens discounts, coupon codes, or sales that will save you even more money. Buying contact lenses online can be a cost-efficient and pleasant experience, as long as you know what to look for.
Factors like style, budget, convenience, and comfort make choosing between glasses and contacts a personal decision. Happy, healthy eyes are essential, so the "better" choice is the choice that is better for YOU. Whichever one you choose, remember to get your eyes checked every year to update your prescription and keep your eyes in tip-top shape.