Glasses or spectacles are frame bearing lenses worn in front of the eyes for vision correction, eye protection, or for protection from UV rays and contact lenses are corrective, cosmetic, or therapeutic lens usually placed on the cornea of the eye.
Glasses or contact lenses, which ever you choose is entirely a personal preference influenced by your lifestyle, comfort, convenience, aesthetics and budget. People who need to correct their vision often choose contact lenses or eyeglasses. Many wear a combination of both, either at the same time or at different times. Only you and your vision care specialist can determine whether glasses or contacts are right for you.
Before making that decision, there are some things to keep in mind. First of all, both glasses and contacts have their own advantages and disadvantages regarding vision, eye health and ease of use, one is not better than the other.
Compared to contacts, glasses offer many benefits – you don’t need to touch your eyes to wear them, which in turn decreases the risk of eye infections and will not cause the eyes to suffer from dryness or redness. Eyeglasses don’t require much cleaning and maintenance, they are also very affordable and don’t require frequent replacement. They come in many different styles, colors, and shapes, and can complement your appearance.
In addition, eyeglasses have a feature that contact lenses don’t – adjustment of the light entering your eye for optimum comfort and vision. They can be tinted and made into prescription sunglasses, or you can purchase special lenses that get darker when exposed to sunlight or bright light – photochromic lenses. Photochromic eyeglass lenses block 100 percent UV and protect not only the inside of the eye from UV, but the exterior of the eye and eyelids as well.
However, contact lenses have many advantages over glasses, too. Contact lenses are worn directly in “contact” with the eye, thus giving the eye an unobstructed vision, especially peripheral vision. So, you don’t need to worry whether your glasses will fall off and break, or get in the way when participating in some sports and outdoor activities. Unlike glasses, contact lenses do not alter your appearance but you can change the color of your eyes with color contact lenses.
Glasses Pros and Cons
Wearing glasses can reduce the need to touch your eyes, which reduces the chances of developing an eye infection or irritating your eyes.
Some people have sensitive and dry eyes which can get worse if wearing contact lenses. Glasses, however, won’t make the problem worse or further irritate the eyes. Also, glasses offer protection from environmental factors such as dust, wind and debris.
Glasses are generally more affordable than contact lenses. You don’t need to replace eyeglasses as frequently (unless they break) and if over time your prescription changes, you may be able to keep your current frames and just replace the lenses.
Eyeglass frames come in different styles, shapes and colors. They can be fashionable and a great way to express your style and act as an extension of your personality by complementing your appearance.
However, there are some downsides when it comes to glasses. Eyeglass lenses sit about 12 mm from your eyes and this distance between the eye and the lens can distort the peripheral vision. Also, when they first start wearing glasses or change prescriptions, many people find it difficult focusing on objects and have a blurry vision.
Some people don’t like how they look in glasses and feel it hides their features or takes away from their facial aesthetics, while others find it hard to get used to the weight of eyeglasses on the face. Some frames can exert constant pressure on your nose and behind your ears, which leads to headaches and general discomfort. This also causes constant awareness of frame and lens edge, as well as the reflection of the backside of the lens.
If you have a strong lens power the edges of your lenses may be thick and unappealing or your glasses might make your eyes appear unnaturally minified or magnified.
Additionally, elements affect eyeglasses, they fog up with changes of temperature or they can obstruct your vision or can be blurred by the perspiration that collets on the lenses. They are also irritating to wear in rain or snow.
Eyeglasses can cause distraction during outdoor activities and sports, since they make you worry whether they’ll slide of your nose and break.
Contact lenses Pros and Cons
Since contact lenses are worn right on the eye, they conform to the curvature of your eye and give more natural vision and cause less vision distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses. They provide your entire field of view to be in focus. This is especially important in sports and in driving, where you need to see as much around you as possible. Besides that, contact lenses don’t get in the way when playing sports and exercising.
Contacts don’t detract from your natural appearance because they let people see your eyes. They also don’t clash with your wardrobe. And if you want to change your appearance you can experiment with color contact lenses and you can even get special-effects lenses for Halloween.
There are certain contact lenses that can reshape the cornea while you are asleep. Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is an overnight therapy that temporarily corrects myopia – you wear lenses overnight and in the morning, you can see clearly without the need for contacts or glasses.
Contacts typically aren’t affected by elements and won’t fog up in cold weather like glasses. They won’t collect precipitation and blur your vision and with contacts, there are no annoying obstructions or reflections in view.
There are some disadvantages that come with wearing contact lenses. Some people have dry eye syndrome which can get worse by using contact lenses since they reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the eyes. In addition to this, when applying the contacts to your eyes you are risking infection or irritating your eyes. There is also the trouble that comes with applying your contact lenses properly, but in most cases, this can be rectified with proper technique and practice.
Contact lenses require proper contact lens care and they should be cleaned daily in order to avoid potential eye infections. If proper lens care and replacement cycle is something you find hard to commit to, then you should know that there are daily disposable contacts that aren’t as demanding.
Another thing that people who often use computers and other electronic devices should know is that wearing contact lenses can contribute to symptoms of computer vision syndrome, tired eyes and digital eye strain.
Falling asleep with daily wear contacts can make your eyes dry, red and irritated. If this is something that happens often to you, you should consider extended wear contact lenses because some extended wear contacts are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.
Types of Glasses
Eyeglasses or spectacles are used to correct disorders like astigmatism, myopia, hypermetropia, and presbyopia.
Glasses use both progressive and bifocal lenses to treat nearsightedness and farsightedness. Unlike bifocal lenses, progressive lenses don’t have a line differentiating between lenses when the user shifts from one lens to another. Bioptics are those glasses that are used by people with severe eyesight impairment.
The primary reason for safety glasses is to protect the eyes from flying dust and debris. They are made from a variety of shatter-resistant glasses and need to be 1 mm thick at their thinnest point.
Sunglasses are another type of eyeglasses used to protect the eyes from UV light and to block the harsh visible light. They can be made with or without prescription and are darkened to serve their purpose.
3D glasses enable the wearer to view the images that are made for 3D viewing. These glasses are very popular nowadays.
Some people need reading glasses to correct their hyperopia and mild presbyopia conditions.
Types of Contact Lenses
There are various types of contact lenses available in the market.
People suffering from astigmatism, myopia, hypermetropia and presbyopia, who do not wish to opt for corrective eye surgery use corrective contact lenses.
X-Chrom is a type of lens that is used to overcome color blindness. This contact lens is a red contact lens worn in one eye and is used to overcome red-green color vision deficiencies.
Therapeutic contact lenses have healing properties. These lenses can help an injured or diseased cornea to recover slowly. They are also used to correct disorders like bullous keratopathy, dry eyes, corneal ulcers and erosion, keratitis, corneal edema, descemetocele, corneal ectasis, Mooren’s ulcer, anterior corneal dystrophy, and neurotrophic keratoconjunctivitis.
People also use cosmetic or decorative contact lenses in order to change the color of their eyes. These lenses can be used as corrective lenses too.
Lenses are made of different materials. At first lenses were made of glass and eventually Plexiglas was used as a substitute. These lenses came to be known as hard lenses. Later, polymacon was used in place of Plexiglas and a new kind of lenses was manufactured. These were known as soft lens. The latest materials to be used are silicon and hydrogels.
Usage time of both glasses and contact lenses
There is no time limit when it comes to wearing eyeglasses. Contact lenses, on the other hand, can be worn for up to 14 hours a day and then they need to be replaced with the traditional spectacles once the 14 hours run out. However, a new category of contact lenses which are disposable on a daily basis, offer comfort for over 14 hours. Contact lenses should be worn for the shortest period of time since it has a few hazards related to it.
Similarities between eyeglasses and contact lenses
Even though there are many differences between these two types of eye correction devices, there are also some similarities.
Many people think that only glasses can correct astigmatism, but what they don’t know is that nowadays there are contact lenses that do that as well. Gas permeable or GP contacts are often preferred for correcting astigmatism because they hold their shape, thereby retaining the proper visual correction, better than soft lenses. Both glasses and contact lenses correct astigmatism.
Glasses or contact lenses or both?
Advances in lens technology made wearing contact lenses more successful, even with the people who prefer glasses. In the end, it is purely up to you. And if you can’t decide, speak to your eye doctor or optician to help you to decide which kind of vision correction is right for you. They will be able to help you evaluate your lifestyle to see whether glasses, contacts, or a combination of both is best for your particular eyes. Make sure you buy discount contact lenses and glasses and save up to 70%. Also, you need to consider that if you wear contact lenses full-time, you also should have an up-to-date pair of glasses. This is just in case you need to stop wearing contacts due to an eye infection or irritation, or you simply want to give your eyes a rest.