Millions of Americans struggle with varying degrees of eye and vision problems. These people rely on vision aids to see clearly during their day-to-day lives. But first, they have to select what kind of aid to use!
Contact lenses and eyeglasses each provide patients with options to correct their vision. Choosing which aid to wear, however, can be surprisingly tough. Advancing technology and updated formulas have made contacts more comfortable and wearable than ever. Meanwhile, glasses have become something of a fashion accessory; and in some cases, patients even buy more than one pair of glasses so they can wear something different every day.
If you’re not sure which vision aid to use, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of both - and to evaluate which one sounds like the best fit for you. To do this, consider the following facts about:
- Pro - Contacts don't 'add' anything to your face. Some people love wearing glasses. Others, however, struggle to adjust their weight. Still others just don't like the way they look with glasses. For those with strong feelings about glasses, contacts are a great alternative.
- Pro- Contacts provide a constant clear field of vision. Unlike glasses, contacts offer an unobstructed vision to the wearer. Plus, you won't need to worry about your glasses getting in the way, falling off or breaking - a big plus if you're an active sports lover!
- Pro - Contacts aren’t sensitive to changes in weather and temperature. People who wear glasses can have their vision obstructed if it begins to rain; they may also experience foggy lenses if they go inside and experience a big change in temperature. Contact wearers, however, won’t have these side effects.
- Pro - There are multiple types of contacts for different wearer needs. The most popular type of contact lens is a soft lens; these can be worn comfortably on a full-time or part-time basis alike. Rigid gas permeable contacts, on the other hand, must be worn on a consistent daily basis for them to be comfortable.
- Con- There's a higher risk of eye infection. Contact lenses can increase the wearer's chances of developing an eye infection. This is especially likely if the contacts are worn improperly, are not stored properly, and/or are not sterilized regularly.
- Con- They can be irritating. For patients with sensitive eyes or conditions such as dry eye or allergies, wearing contacts can lead to discomfort and itchiness of the eyes.
- Con- They require lots of specific care and maintenance. Contact users need to be willing to invest time and money into contact lens care. Without proper care, contacts can increase your risk of bacterial infections, fungal infections, and even corneal ulcers. All long-term use lenses will need to be cleaned and disinfected properly. (While there are disposable daily use contacts available as well, many people choose to skip them due to their wasteful nature.)
- Pro - They’re convenient and easy to use. Glasses require much less effort to use than contacts. You put them on and you go, and you take them off when you’re done for the day. Simple!
- Pro - They pose a minimal risk of eye problems. While cleaning the frames regularly will help with your skincare routine, even dirty glasses do not really put you at risk of developing an eye infection.
- Pro - They come in a variety of colors and shapes. Glasses come in more colors and shapes than ever before. And while brand name frames can be very pricy, plenty of stylish ones can cost under $10. With prices that low, you may find yourself tempted to get more than one pair of glasses!
- Pro - Glasses lenses are very customizable. The lenses of glasses are just as variable as their frames. From prescription shades to glare-reduction materials to blue light reflecting lenses (i.e. computer glasses), there are a handful of add-ons that allow glasses users to see clearly and protect their eyes from exposure to harmful light sources.
- Con - Glasses don’t fix peripheral vision. People who wear glasses need to be comfortable with blurry peripheral vision. Additionally, since not all frames are the same size, some wearers need to be prepared to see a long dark spot from the corners of their eyes - due to the size of the frame arms reaching back to the wearers’ ears.
- Con - Glasses get foggy. Glasses can fog up when switching from cold to warm temperature or from dry to humid air. Wearers need to be prepared for this if they choose to use glasses.
Feeling stressed about making a decision? Don’t be! Neither glasses nor contacts are better than the other. They’re two tools designed to meet the needs of different people with different preferences. You just have to consider your personal preferences and comfort levels, your lifestyle, your budget, and your aesthetics. Using these factors will lead you to the right vision tool!
Once you have an idea of what you want to wear, it’s time to make an appointment and to visit with your eye doctor. In addition to providing an up-to-date vision prescription, your care specialist can offer additional insight into which tool may be right for you, especially if you have certain eye diseases or problems. After you get your doctor’s input, you’ll be ready to make a final decision - and to shop for your new glasses or to order your new contacts!
Ready to find the perfect vision aid for your vision needs? Our team is available and ready to chat with you about your options. Call an office near you today, or contact us online to request your appointment!