Glasses or Contacts? 5 Reasons Why You Should Choose Glasses Over Contacts

16th May 2017

Glasses and contact lenses are two popular options for vision correction. When it comes to choosing between glasses and contacts, there has always been an ongoing debate among individuals with vision impairments. While both options serve the purpose of correcting vision, this blog aims to shed light on the advantages of glasses over contacts.

Glasses on table

Glasses, also known as spectacles, have been around for centuries and are a well-established solution for vision correction. On the other hand, contact lenses are a more recent development in the field of optometry.

Since their widespread availability in the 1960s, contact lenses have become a safe and viable alternative to glasses. Many people prefer contact lenses, however, rather than making glasses obsolete, they appear to have become a matter of personal preference.

Indeed, both glasses and contact lenses have their disadvantages, but why has market demand not turned eyeglasses into something you only see in a museum?

1. Ease and Convenience

Reduced Risk of Eye Infections

When it comes to ease and convenience, glasses offer several advantages over contact lenses. One of the key benefits is the absence of direct contact with the eyes, which can significantly reduce the risk of eye infections. Contact lenses require handling and placing them directly on the eye's surface, increasing the likelihood of bacteria or dirt coming into contact with the eyes.

In contrast, glasses eliminate this concern as they are worn on the bridge of the nose, resting comfortably on the face without any contact with the eyes. This makes glasses a safer and more hygienic option for vision correction.

Easy On and Off

Another aspect that adds to the convenience of wearing glasses is the ease of putting them on and removing them. With contact lenses, it can take time to ensure proper placement on the eyes, and some individuals may experience difficulties in handling and positioning them correctly. Glasses, on the other hand, provide a straightforward and convenient solution for vision correction.

Minimal Maintenance and Cleaning Compared to Contact Lenses

Furthermore, glasses eliminate the need for maintenance and cleaning routines that contact lens wearers have to follow. Contact lenses require regular cleaning, disinfecting, and storage in specialised solutions to maintain their cleanliness and ensure optimal eye health. These routines can be time-consuming and sometimes inconvenient, especially when travelling or in situations where access to clean water and hygiene products is limited.

Glasses & contact lenses

For those who prefer simplicity and minimal upkeep, glasses are a practical choice. They provide the convenience of not having to worry about daily cleaning routines or the potential risks associated with mishandling contact lenses. Whether it's wearing glasses for occasional use or as a full-time vision correction solution, the ease and convenience they offer make them a reliable and hassle-free option for individuals seeking prescription glasses.

2. Contacts Can Be Responsible for Computer Vision Syndrome

For those of us who spend a significant amount of time working in front of a computer screen, which is certainly not a low number, it's important to consider the potential impact of contact lenses on our eye health. Contact lenses have been known to augment the effects of a condition known as "computer vision syndrome", or CVS, which is a temporary condition caused primarily by uninterrupted viewing of a screen and can result in headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.

The Strain of Wearing Contact Lenses

Whilst those who wear glasses or no visual correction at all are certainly not immune, wearing contact lenses can exacerbate the problem. Contact lenses, by their very nature, sit directly on the surface of the eyes. This close and continuous contact can further strain the eyes when combined with extended periods of screen time.

Eye drops

The eyes can become dry and irritated due to reduced oxygen flow and increased moisture evaporation caused by the lenses. These factors, coupled with the visual demands of staring at a screen, can contribute to the symptoms of CVS.

Glasses as a Protective Barrier

By wearing glasses instead of contact lenses while working on a computer, individuals may experience a reduction in the severity of symptoms associated with CVS. Glasses provide a physical barrier between the eyes and the screen, which can help reduce eye strain.

Additionally, glasses can be equipped with specialised lenses such as anti-reflective coatings or blue light filters, which further alleviate the strain on the eyes caused by prolonged screen exposure. These lens features can help minimise glare, reduce eye fatigue, and block harmful blue light emitted by digital screens.

3. Less Air Reaches the Surface of the Eye Causing Dry Eye Syndrome

Air Circulation and Dry Eye Syndrome

A key difference between glasses and contact lenses relates to the fact that contact lenses allow very little air to reach the eye itself. This has the effect in some cases of encouraging dry eye syndrome to develop, which often manifests as sore and itchy eyes with associated complications.

Eye drops

When it comes to eye health, glasses offer significant advantages over contact lenses. One crucial aspect is the impact on air circulation around the eyes.

Better Airflow and Moisture Retention

Glasses allow for better airflow, reducing the risk of dryness and eye infection that can occur with prolonged contact lens use. The frames of glasses create a small space between the lenses and the eyes, allowing air to circulate freely. This promotes natural moisture retention and minimises the discomfort of dry eyes, which can lead to irritation and redness.

Alongside this, the production of tears is a natural mechanism for keeping the eye cleansed which cannot function correctly with a contact lens in place. This leaves the eye susceptible to infection and discomfort.

4. Visual Comfort and Peripheral Vision

When it comes to visual comfort, glasses offer distinct advantages over contact lenses. One significant benefit is the enhanced field of vision, including improved peripheral vision. Glasses provide a wider view of the world, allowing individuals to see objects clearly not only in front of them but also in their peripheral vision.

Glasses reflection

Expanding Your Field of Vision

This is particularly beneficial in activities that require awareness of the surroundings, such as driving, playing sports, or even simply navigating through crowded spaces. Unlike contact lenses, which sit directly on the eyes, glasses do not restrict peripheral vision, ensuring a more comprehensive and natural visual experience.

Additionally, glasses can contribute to visual comfort by reducing eye strain and dryness that contact lens wearers experience. Contact lenses can sometimes cause discomfort, particularly when worn for extended periods. The lenses can contribute to dryness of the eyes, leading to feelings of irritation, itchiness, or even redness.

Moreover, the continuous contact of contact lenses with the eyes can result in a sensation of eye fatigue or strain. In contrast, glasses tend to alleviate these concerns as they do not directly interact with the eyes. They provide a barrier that helps retain natural moisture and reduce the strain associated with contact lens wear, promoting overall visual comfort.

5. Advancements in Glasses Technology

Modern Designs for Enhanced Comfort and Style

In recent years, there have been significant advancements in the technology and design of prescription glasses, making them an attractive choice for vision correction. These innovations have not only improved the functionality of glasses but also enhanced their aesthetics, addressing the concerns of individuals who may have been hesitant to wear glasses in the past.

Glasses on box

One notable advancement is the introduction of lightweight and stylish frames. Traditional glasses were often associated with bulky and uncomfortable frames, but modern designs have revolutionised the appearance of glasses.

Comfortable Fit and Customisation

Lightweight materials such as titanium and acetate are now commonly used, providing durability and comfort without compromising on style. The availability of a wide range of frame shapes, colours, and patterns allows individuals to find a pair of glasses that suit their personal preferences and enhance their overall look.

With these advancements in glasses technology, the stigma surrounding glasses has significantly diminished. Prescription specs now offer not only clear vision but also style, comfort, and enhanced eye health.

The availability of lightweight frames, specialised lenses, and customisation options cater to diverse needs, making glasses a preferred choice for individuals seeking vision correction. As a result, the tendency to wear glasses has increased, and they are now seen as fashionable accessories that promote both visual well-being and personal style.

Varifocal Lenses for Seamless Vision Correction

Prescription glasses now offer customisation options to cater to specific vision needs. Varifocal lenses, also known as progressive lenses, provide a seamless transition between different vision distances. These lenses eliminate the need for multiple pairs of glasses and accommodate both near and far vision in a single lens, making them particularly beneficial for individuals with presbyopia.

So, should I wear glasses or contacts?

When it comes to vision correction, glasses offer several advantages over contact lenses. Glasses provide ease and convenience, eliminating the need for direct contact with the eyes and the maintenance routines associated with contact wear.

As advancements in glasses technology continue to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of glasses, wearing glasses has become a fashionable choice. Lightweight and stylish frames, along with specialised lenses such as anti-reflective coatings and blue light filters, provide personalised comfort and address specific vision needs.

Prioritising eye health should be a top concern for everyone. Considering the advantages of wearing glasses, it is worth reassessing your choice of vision correction. So, the next time you think about vision correction, remember the benefits that glasses can bring and make an informed choice for the sake of your eyes and overall well-being.

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