Contact Lens VS Glasses - Pros & Cons Everyone Should Know!
You are browsing for a suitable option in an optical shop, contemplating if you should make the switch from glasses to contact lenses.
You thought to yourself: Are contact lenses comfortable? Are they cheap? Are they convenient? If so, should you choose contact lenses with a daily or monthly cycle? Or maybe, you should just stick to glasses, which you have been wearing ever since you can remember.
Weighing your options between contact lens vs glasses, you ponder about the pros and cons. How will you be able to decide?
Do not fret as this will guide you to make a well-informed (and possibly life-changing) decision!
Contact lenses have been a prominent option as many people prefer them for convenience and accessibility. You can buy them almost anywhere, in optical shops or online stores, yet they come in a variety of brands with seemingly endless options.
How do we choose the right type of contact lens? Which type of contact lenses are healthier for our eyes?
To add to the problem, contact lenses have become a fashion statement with coloured and eye-enhancing options, popular even amongst our non-bespectacled peers. Unlike glasses, you can change up your eye colour, size and even the pattern of your iris whenever you desire.
There are definitely pros and cons to wearing contact lenses. Before we take this further, let’s first eliminate the common misconceptions.
General misconceptions of contact lenses
Misconception 1: Contact lenses will get stuck behind your eye
Myth! Getting your contact lens stuck is highly unlikely unless you:
- Go to sleep with your contact lenses without taking them out, yikes!
- Wear your contact lenses for a prolonged period of time even after the expiry date
As long as you practice the appropriate care, the odds of your contact lenses wedged into your eyelids are nearly implausible!
Misconception 2: Contact lens is bad for your eyes
Myth! Wearing contact lenses does not cause detrimental damage to your eye health. Of course, a lack of maintenance will definitely lead to adverse side effects.
Keep in mind that adhering to a strict eye care routine and regular visits to the optometrist is an integral part of protecting yourself against potential eye infections.
Misconception 3: Contact lenses can scratch your cornea
The plausibility of scratching your cornea by wearing contact lenses is extremely minimal. Again, it all boils down to establishing proper eye care procedures.
Selecting the appropriate contact lens size and following the recommended end date will keep such cases to a minimum!
Pros of wearing contact lenses
- Contact lenses are comfortable for the eyes
While considering making a change to contact lenses, you may be worried that they will cause immense discomfort. After all, it seems that you are lodging a tiny piece of plastic on your cornea! In actual fact, contact lenses are not as harsh on the eyes as once thought.
Thanks to the technological advancement in the science behind eye care, there are contact lens options made with soft and thin plastic such as silicon hydrogel that allow your eyes to breathe while retaining moisture. Of course, choosing the right size that fits your eyes makes a significant difference!
In the event that your eyes are subjected to irritation, swelling, blurry vision or any form of unusual pain, remove them immediately and consult your trusted optometrist.
- Contact lenses make exercising less of a hindrance
Put yourself in this position: An avid sports lover with myopia. You are excited to join your friends for a couple of soccer matches, but as luck would have it, the weather begins to turn cloudy.
You sigh. When it rains, your glasses will definitely fog up, leading to an obstruction of vision; it is going to be a challenging affair to play well in such weather.
What can you do to overcome this frustrating predicament?
The answer? Contact lenses.
For physical activities and close contact sports, glasses, which are susceptible to damage will not be a viable option.
Unlike glasses, contact lenses do not get affected by weather elements that lead to fogging nor would they be obstructed by sudden temperature changes. Contact lenses will not result in broken frames nor do they slide down your face during vigorous exercise or movement.
For people with an active lifestyle, contact lenses are certainly a highly recommended option!
- They provide clearer vision
Contact lenses provide a natural and wider field of vision. Compared to glasses, this technological marvel comes with lesser distortions and obstructions; after all, there are no frames that will not impede your vision.
- Contact lenses are aesthetically pleasing
Unlike glasses, you can change up your look with minimal effort utilising a variety of coloured lenses to complement your style. Furthermore, these sleek lenses allow you to look your best at social events. For instance, during a first date, you may want to show the beauty of your eye colour which can be obstructed by a pair of bulky glasses.
- They are functional
When you’re sashaying on the dance floor, glasses can also be a hurdle, resulting in a less-than-satisfied experience. For scuba-diving lovers, wearing glasses is nearly impossible, yet certain contact lenses are permitted, allowing a maximum visual experience under the ocean.
- Most contact lenses provide UV and blue light protection
As technology becomes more prominent in our daily lives, it is a necessity to protect our eyes from harmful rays. You can safeguard your eyes from excessive bright light that can be detrimental to your vision.
Cons of wearing contact lenses
- It requires ample care and maintenance
Contact lenses definitely require extra meticulosity and effort in their maintenance unless you decide on wearing daily disposables.
When you wear your contacts, they are subjected to build-up residues and bacteria, which is why when it comes to monthly or extended wear lenses, they must be cleansed methodically before and after.
It is imperative that you never, ever wash your contacts in plain water! Contact lenses should only be washed in hydrogen peroxide-based solution to be disinfected and sterilised assiduously.
Before washing your contacts, be sure to check the expiry date of your contact lens solution. Washing only with water will not kill off bacteria from your lenses, leading to counterproductive eye health and possibly infection.
- Without proper eye care, there will be higher chances of infections
Abysmal eyecare practice will definitely lead to dire consequences.
Wash your hands thoroughly
Before handling your contact lenses, make sure you wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Think of the number of bacteria and germs crawling about; you do not want them to remain on your eyeballs, right?
Adhere to the replacement date
Do not wear contacts over prolonged periods as they will lead to dry and prickly eyes, increasing the risk of infections. Remember, like all materials, contact lenses are subject to wear and tear! Wearing contact lenses by the recommended end date will lead to potential eye health implications.
- Daily disposables tend to be a pricier alternative
Contact lenses, especially daily disposables, require a regular subscription, which means that they might have a heftier price tag in the long run. Of course, how much you spend relies on several factors:
- What is your preferred brand?
- Are your lenses daily disposables or made for extended wear?
- How often will you be wearing your contact lenses?
These are considerations that will play a part in your future expenses, so be sure to make a thorough evaluation before making your purchase! So, what is a cost-effective alternative? Bi-weekly and monthly contact lenses.
Glasses have been the conventional option for many people. Compared to contact lenses, they require little maintenance - there’s no troublesome care rituals, no regular replacements and potentially waking up to possible contact lens induced eye infections.
Pros of choosing glasses
- Glasses don’t require constant replacement unless they are damaged or broken
Glasses are built to last, which means you do not have to change them weekly or monthly, at least until it breaks or there’s a change in your eye degree.
Although you can’t easily switch frames to keep in trend with the latest fashion without replacing your entire spectacles, glasses are more of a one-time payment option at least for the next few years given ample care and maintenance.
- You can choose your lens treatment depending on your requirements
There are individual lens treatments with different features you can select based on your requirements:
UV-blocking treatment - Protects your eyes from ultraviolet light
- Photochromic treatment- Light adaptive lenses
Anti-reflective treatment - Reduce glare spots and eliminate reflections
- Blue light-reflective treatment - Protect against eye strain, particularly from digital screens
- Reduce potential eye infections
Wearing glasses means there is less reason to touch your eyeballs. After all, you do not need to go through the procedure of putting on your contact lenses.
Cons of wearing glasses
- Inconvenient for physical activities
Glasses can be a hassle as they are subjugated to weather conditions that will impair your vision. We’ve seen Harry Potter struggling during his quidditch matches due to foggy and rainy weather. The same can be said for going out of a room with air conditioning in the summer.
- The frame of the glasses put pressure on your ears and nose
Having a constant weight pressing down on your ears and nose, regardless of the weight, can lead to discomfort and to a certain extent pain and soreness. In many ways, the concept of AirPods and contact lenses are vastly similar. The feeling of freedom provided by both innovations allows one to be free from the constraints of its tedious predecessor. Headache, dizziness and fatigue can set in causing discomfort when wearing glasses over longer periods.
- Distorted peripheral vision
In contrast with contact lenses which sit directly on your eye, glasses have a distance of at least 12mm from the bridge of your nose to your eyes, which could cause distorted peripheral vision.
- Blurry around the edges
With glasses, your vision may get distorted or blurred around the edges. A minor inconvenience for those used to their spectacles, yet painstakingly tedious to go back to the optical shop for adjustments.
- Higher costs
One distinct disadvantage of glasses would be that it requires higher upfront payment. Given that your beloved pair of spectacles are also fragile in nature, it will be an absolute nightmare if your glasses are broken, signifying higher costs of replacement.
How do you choose between contact lens vs glasses?
- Your lifestyle
It all depends on your routine.
Are you a person with an active lifestyle? Consider contact lenses as they do not get in the way during physical activities.
Do you spend most of your time on deskwork? Glasses could be the superior choice if your lifestyle requires less strenuous movement.
Do you have a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to obligatory procedures? Daily contact lenses will definitely be a more suitable choice for you as they require an eye care routine that’s simply less demanding. We love daily contact lenses because you can discard them after every use, absolutely convenient!
- Comfort level
Particularly for the myopic crowd, eyewear comprises a huge aspect of your daily life, which is why you have to consider if they are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. Contact lenses could be a better option for those who experience dizziness with glasses and prefer putting less strain on their nose and ears.
Compared to contact lenses, glasses are definitely the more economical choice without the need for recurring payment. Of course, this is provided if you are able to keep those delicate frames safe, otherwise, the costs of wearing glasses could be even higher given the hefty upfront payment.
If you decided on contact lenses, here are some valuable considerations:
You are probably thinking: With such a wide variety of options, how will I be able to choose? Let’s look at the fundamental features of contact lenses:
Soft or hard lenses, which is better?
As opposed to soft contact lenses, hard lenses tend to be slightly more uncomfortable. However, they are more durable and offer greater protection against infections, a better option for people prone to allergies or infections.
Soft contact lenses are predominantly the costlier option as they tend to be more flexible and breathable. Nevertheless, they are a pricier alternative due to the higher frequency of replacements.
Daily disposables or monthly contact lenses?
Daily disposables are definitely the less demanding option; you wear it, you throw it, you start over.
Monthly contact lenses, on the other hand, require regular care. After every use, they must be sedulously cleansed and placed in a clean lens case to kill lingering bacteria in order to lower the risk of eye infections. However, extended-wear or monthly lenses tend to be more durable and cost-effective.
Keep in mind that you should always carry a pair of prescription glasses in the event that you run out of contact lenses or experience eye discomfort. It is always better to have a backup plan, just in case!
So, have you made your decision yet? Perhaps, you’ve chosen to make the switch to contact lenses, yet you’re overwhelmed by the vast abundance of choices! Fret not, because you can take our quiz to decide the type of contact lenses that are best suited for you!
Of course, that is not to say you’ll have to strictly settle on one over the other. In fact, why not choose the best of both worlds? After all, they are interchangeable, so you’ll be able to switch between contact lenses and glasses effortlessly depending on your schedule!
Want to be spoiled for choice? Check out our wide range of contact lenses here: Contact Lens Collections
Eager to speak with an expert? Take an appointment with our Tele-Optometrist today for a professional eye consultation!