Contacts or spectacles? A highly debatable topic on which everyone has different opinions. It all depends on one’s personal preferences. To put it simply, some people favor glasses and don’t see the advantages of contacts. While others find great convenience from contact lenses or believe they look more attractive in them as contacts are available in different colors. Ranging from pure hazel-colored contacts to the blue cut anti-glare lens.
Before we get into the pros and cons of contacts and spectacles, let’s learn about their history too.
The first pair of glasses were invented for far-sightedness as a convex lens was the only material available to make glasses. Elder scholars used convex lenses to magnify print for reading and writing.
Spectacles for near-sightedness weren’t invented until much later. However, this wasn’t a big deal because most people only noticed their vision impairment at an older age, through age-related eye conditions.
The first pair of contacts to fit in a human eye was invented in the late 1800s. But due to these lenses made of blown glass, they entirely covered the eyeballs and were extremely painful to wear. It was harmful to the eyes too as these glass lenses cut off the direct supply of oxygen to the eyes, essentially suffocating them.
The inventors created and tried many variations of these glass contact lenses.
And finally, in the 40s, thanks to the advent of plastic, contact lenses were much easier to wear. Since that, soft contact lenses were introduced in the early 70s and now the quality, comfort, and wearability of lenses keep improving every year.
Before you decide between contacts or glasses, keep in mind that one is not necessarily better than the other; each has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of vision, ease of use, and eye health.
Virtually, eyeglasses offer many benefits over contact lenses.
They require less effort during cleaning and maintenance. And most of all, you don’t have to touch your eyes while wearing them or taking them off. This decreases your risk for eye infections.
Spectacles are cheaper than contacts since you don’t have to replace them in the long run.
Also, with eyeglasses, you can adjust the amount of light entering your eye for optimum comfort and vision. Specifically, photochromic lenses are clear indoors and at night, and darken automatically in sunlight for clear, comfortable vision in any light.
Some contacts can block UV light from entering the eyes, however, photochromic eyeglass lenses block 100 percent UV and safeguard not only the interior of the eye from UV but the exterior of the eye and eyelids as well.
Eyeglasses can also make a great fashion statement as well. You can match different frames to different outfits.
But hold on!
Contact lenses offer plenty of advantages too.
Contact lenses directly sit on the cornea of your eyes, so your vision, particularly peripheral vision, is unobstructed. You don’t have the issue of your glass frames blocking your peripheral view.
You can have contacts in different colors like pure hazel colored contacts or blue cut anti-glare lenses that can very well go with your fits.
Let’s learn more about the pros and cons of eyeglasses and contact lenses.
- Contacts conform to the curvature of your eye, providing a wider field of view and causing fewer vision distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses.
- Unlike specs, contact lenses won’t get in your way when playing sports and exercising.
- Contact lenses won’t cause any clashing with what you’re wearing.
- Contacts generally aren’t affected by weather conditions and won’t fog up in cold weather like glasses.
- Color contact lenses are always an open option if you want to experiment and have different eye colors.
- Some contact lenses can reshape your cornea while you sleep. Overnight orthokeratology (Ortho-k) may temporarily correct myopia, so you can see the next day without the need for glasses or contacts
- Some people find it hard to apply contact lenses to their eyes.
- Contacts lower the amount of oxygen reaching our eyes and can induce or increase the severity of dry eye syndrome.
- If your screen time is more, sporting contact lenses will likely contribute to symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
- Contacts need proper lens care and lens case cleaning each day, to evade potentially serious eye infections. If you can’t devote yourself to the care and recommended replacement cycle of your contacts, contemplate daily disposables.
- If you fall asleep while wearing daily wear contacts, your eyes can typically get dry, gritty, red, and irritated when you wake. If you find yourself often falling asleep with your contacts in, contemplate extended-wear contact lenses — some extended-wear contacts are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.
- While wearing glasses, your need to touch your eyes is reduced which in turn lowers the chances of irritating your eyes or developing an eye infection.
- If you have dry or sensitive eyes, glasses won’t exacerbate the problem as contact lenses can.
- Eyeglasses generally are cheaper than contact lenses over the long term. You don’t need to replace glasses as often (unless you break them!) and if your prescription changes over time, you may be able to keep your current frames and just replace the lenses.
- Glass Frames are chic and can speak volumes about your personality and style. The appearance of your glasses can make a bold statement.
- Glasses offer some safety from environmental facets such as wind, dust, and debris.
- Eyeglasses sit about 12mm (about a half inch) from your eyes, so peripheral vision can be deformed. Many people also register difficulty concentrating on objects and blurry vision when they first start wearing glasses or changing prescriptions.
- Some people may not like their appearance in glasses and may feel that glasses don’t suit their facial aesthetics or hide their features.
- If you have a strong prescription, the edges of your lenses may be thick and they might look unappealing. Your glasses can make your eyes appear unnaturally minified or magnified.
- Eyeglasses are affected by environmental elements. Your vision can be occluded or blurred by precipitation collecting on your lenses or when they fog up in cold weather.
- Some frames can wield pressure on your nose and behind your ears constantly, leading to headaches and general discomfort.
Now that you know every advantage and disadvantage of spectacles as well as lenses, you can decide based on your preference, comfort, and lifestyle whether you’re team glasses or team lenses.