Close up of contact lens and glasses

Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses: What You Need to Know

When it comes to eyewear, many have debated whether contact lenses or eyeglasses are the better choice. While both have unique characteristics, drawbacks and advantages, it really comes down to personal preference, lifestyle and budget. What’s most suited towards your lifestyle needs is usually the better choice in the long run. Both contacts and eyeglasses have a number of options that assist in helping correct your sight so it would be best to discuss with your eye care provider to gather individual recommendations that would be best suited to you personally.

First, let’s discuss what eyeglasses and contacts actually are. Eyeglasses consist of a frame and corrective lenses that rest on the bridge of your nose which refracts the light entering your eye. This refraction of light is displayed on your retina, sharply focusing the light which has otherwise been distorted through a misshapen cornea. Contact lenses function in this same manner although are thin, plastic lenses that are placed directly on the eye. Contacts are moist and must be kept in solution so that they do not dry up. This moisture allows them to float on top of the eye without much, if any, discomfort.

Replacement contact lens costs can add up even if your prescription does not change.

Now, for some of the advantages of wearing eyeglasses – Eyeglasses require less maintenance and cleaning than contacts making them easier to handle over the longer term. In addition, eyeglasses are not placed directly on one’s eye, reducing the chance of irritating or getting an eye infection compared to contacts. Lens options are also a factor to consider, as some eyeglass lens options provide photochromic filters that limit the amount of light entering the eye. Eyeglasses can also be less expensive than contacts as they are replaced less frequently. Replacement contact lens costs can add up even if your prescription does not change.

On the other hand, contact lenses can be advantageous to the wearer when compared to eyeglasses depending on how you look at the big picture. Contacts are placed directly on the eye providing a full-range of view as compared to limited peripheral view with eyeglasses. Having contacts also allows for more freedom of motion and are a great alternative to eyeglasses, which may get in the way or fall off when playing sports. Another feature unique to certain types of contact lenses is the ability to reshape one’s cornea. These types of contacts may be prescribed to wear overnight while you sleep so that you may have temporarily corrected vision the next day without the need for eyeglasses or contacts.

Truly, the choice in eyewear is up to you.

It’s important to note that choosing one over the other may not necessarily be the only option. Both contacts and eyeglasses can be used for different circumstances as they best suit your daily activities. For instance, you may consider wearing eyeglasses at home but prefer wearing contacts when you are out running errands or engaging in physical activities. Truly, the choice in eyewear is up to you although it’s recommended to discuss these options with your provider to ensure that you have the best vision corrective eyewear for your individual needs.


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