Eyeglasses and contact lenses have many benefits as they help deal with vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The preference for vision correction with eyeglasses or contact lenses mostly depends on personal choices, such as lifestyle, comfort, convenience, and budget. You must note that eyeglasses and contact lenses have pros and cons in terms of vision, ease of use, and eye health.
Below is a list of advantages and disadvantages of glasses and contact lenses:
Benefits of eyeglasses
- One can easily take off the glasses and put them on whenever needed.
- Wearing glasses reduces the risk of eye infections and decreases susceptibility to covid 19.
- Unlike contact lenses, wearing glasses prevents the worsening of the dry eye problem.
- Changing eyeglasses is cheaper than contact lenses over the long term since they don’t need to be replaced often. In case of a change in prescription, if the current glasses frame is in a good position, all you need to do is replace the lenses.
- Frames are fashionable and showcase one’s personality and style.
- Eyeglasses offer some protection from wind, dust and debris.
- Photochromic glasses can adjust the amount of light entering the eye for optimum comfort and vision. They are clear indoors and at night and darken automatically in sunlight for clear, comfortable vision in any light. These glasses protect not only the inside of the eye from U.V. but the exterior of the eye and eyelids.
- Glasses with an ultraviolet protection coating will protect the retina from harmful U.V. rays emitted by digital devices.
Disadvantages of eyeglasses
- Eyeglasses sit about 12mm from your eyes, so peripheral vision can be hindered.
- Some people report difficulty focusing on objects, eye strain and blurry vision when they first start wearing glasses or change prescriptions.
- Some people feel wearing glasses interferes with their facial aesthetics.
- In case of high refractive errors, the thick lenses make glasses unappealing and make eyes appear unnaturally minified or magnified.
- Bulky eye frames can exert constant pressure on the nose and behind the ears, resulting in headaches, nose pad marks and general discomfort.
- The lenses can fog up and get splattered in the rain and interfere with participation in sports and other activities.
Benefits of contact lenses
- Contact lenses give more natural vision than glasses. They conform to the eye’s curvature and move with the eye, providing a wider field of view and causing more minor vision distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses. Contacts also won’t interfere with safety gear such as helmets, caps, and goggles.
- Contact lenses don’t interfere with sports and do not limit the involvement in outdoor activities.
- They don’t fog up or get wet when it’s cold or rainy.
- With a colored contact lens, you can alter the color of your eyes.
- Contact lenses don’t distort or reflect light.
- Some contact lenses can reshape the cornea during your sleep and temporarily correct myopia so that one can see the next day without the need for glasses or contacts (Overnight orthokeratology (Ortho-k))
Disadvantages of contact lenses
- Contact lenses require special care and lens case cleaning daily to prevent potentially serious eye infections.
- It can take more time to get used to wearing contacts. They usually require more follow-up care with your eye doctor.
- Contact lenses reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the eye and cause thinning of the tear film, increasing the severity of dry eye syndrome.
- Working long hours with computers with contact lenses on will likely exacerbate dry eyes and contribute to computer vision syndrome symptoms.
- For those who accidentally fall asleep while wearing daily wear contacts, their eyes typically will be dry, gritty, red, and irritated upon waking up. It is better to consider extended wear contact lenses in such cases.
- For those with high astigmatism, vision might get blurry when the lenses rotate. For such cases, toric contact lenses should be considered.
Is it better to wear glasses or contacts while on the computer?
- Staring excessively at a computer screen reduces the blinking rate; this can cause dry, irritated eyes regardless of whether you wear glasses or contact lenses.
- Wearing anti-glare glasses or glasses with a blue light filter in front of computers will help to protect the eyes from digital eye strain.
- Contact lenses with high water content are fine to wear in front of the computer as they are highly breathable, maintain hydration and help increase oxygen supply to the eyes.
Contact lenses, eyeglasses… Or both?
Most people prefer to use glasses as their primary form of vision correction. Though if one uses contact lenses full-time, it is always advisable to have glasses with an up-to-date prescription, which might help in case one needs to stop wearing contacts due to an eye infection or irritation or to give eyes a break.
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