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Contact Lenses Vs. Eyeglasses: Which Option Is Best For You?

Your choice of whether to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses to correct your vision primarily depends on your personal preferences. Comfort, lifestyle, aesthetics, convenience, budget, and lifestyle are all critical considerations in your decision-making process.

Before you choose between glasses and contacts, you should remember that one option isn’t necessarily always going to be better than the other. After all, each option has its advantages and disadvantages in regards to ease of use, eye health and of course vision.

Eyeglasses provide numerous advantages over the more popular option of contact lenses. They don't require much maintenance and cleaning, you don’t have to touch the eyes when wearing them, and they tend to be cheaper than contact lenses in the long run because they don’t require regular replacement.

Eyeglasses are also capable of doing something that contact lenses are unable to: they can regulate the amount of light that enters the eye to ensure optimal vision and comfort. Photochromic lenses specifically are clear in the nighttime and indoors but automatically darken in sunlight for clear, comfortable vision in any lighting conditions. While some contact lenses are capable of blocking some UV light from reaching the eye, photochromic lenses can block 100 percent of the UV light and protect both the interior of the eye from the UV light as well as the eyelids and exterior of the eye too.

Eyeglasses also make a great fashion statement and can act as an extension of your personality.

Having said that, contact lenses also offer numerous advantages over glasses. Contact lenses sit on the eye directly, which means that vision, and in particular peripheral vision, isn’t obstructed. It is possible to participate in outdoor activities and sports without having to worry about eyeglasses breaking, falling off, or simply getting in the way. It is even possible to use color contact lenses to change the color of your eyes.

So, which option is better for your specific lifestyle and needs - contact lenses or glasses? The following is a breakdown of all the pros and cons of each type of eyewear to help you make an informed decision.

Contact Lenses: Pros

-    Contacts never clash with what you wear

-    Contacts never get in the way when exercising or playing sports

-    Contacts conform to the natural curvature of the eyes, provide a wider field of view, and cause fewer vision distortions and obstructions compared to eyeglasses.

Contact Lenses: Cons

-    Contacts limit the amount of oxygen that reaches the eye and can either cause dry eye syndrome or increase its severity.

-    Contacts require much more care than eyeglasses. Contacts sit directly on your eye so they need to be cleaned and cared for.

-    Some people have reported experiencing problems applying contacts to their eye even though using the right technique and enough practice should correct this in most instances.

-    If you are a frequent user of the computer, wearing contact lenses can contribute to the symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

Eyeglasses: Pros

-    Eyeglasses won’t worsen the problem of dry or sensitive eyes as contact lenses do.

-    With eyeglasses, you never have to touch the eyes, which means that the likelihood of irritating them or even developing an eye infection is reduced.

-    Eyeglasses generally cost less than contacts in the long run. You don’t have to replace them as often, and if the prescription changes over time, you can replace the lenses but keep the current frames.

Eyeglasses: Cons

-    If your prescription is strong, the edges of the lenses might be thick and unappealing, or the glasses might make the eyes appear unnaturally magnified or minified.

-    You might not like the way you look in glasses, and you might feel that they either hide your features or detracts from your facial aesthetics.

-    Eyeglasses typically sit about half an inch from the eyes, which means that it is possible for peripheral vision to be distorted. People also often report having a hard time focusing on objects and having blurry vision when they wear eyeglasses for the first time, or they change prescriptions.

Eyeglasses, Contact Lenses, or Both?

The advanced in contact lens technology has allowed many people to wear contacts successfully even if they prefer wearing glasses as the primary method of vision correction.

The decision to wear either contacts or eyeglasses as well as when to wear them is thus a matter of personal preference.

However, it is important to remember that if you choose to be wearing contacts full-time, you also need an up-to-date pair of sunglasses in case you ever need to stop wearing the contact lenses due to an irritation or an eye infection, or you simply wish to give the eyes a break.