Whether you’re shortsighted, longsighted or multifocal, we all need to see clearly – but the manner in which we achieve perfect sight can differ significantly.
Some of us are lucky enough to have 20/20 vision, but for 75% of the British population optical correction is necessary to acquire visual clarity. Some opt to wear spectacles, others prefer to wear contact lenses, and many choose to combine the two depending on their plans for the day.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about switching from glasses to contacts? Here at Infocus Opticians we recognise there are plenty of pros and cons to contacts vs. glasses, so here’s our breakdown of the factors you should consider when choosing your eyewear…
First and foremost, different eyewear solutions are suited to different lifestyles. For instance, if you spend a lot of time looking at computer screens you might prefer to wear spectacles to prevent your eyes drying out. Whereas, if you engage in regular outdoor pursuits, you may opt for contact lenses that are less easily broken and don’t fog up in adverse weather! Some of our patients describe switching from glasses to contacts as a liberating experience, whilst others remain besotted with their spectacles.
Contact lenses sit on the surface of your eye, giving you a wide field of view and unobstructed peripheral vision by conforming to your eyeballs’ curvature. Whereas glasses are worn around half an inch away from your eyes, so peripheral sight can be distorted. Yet specs have their benefits, and come with the option to add optical enhancement filters – such as anti-glare, UV-blockers and photochromatic lenses that change tint depending on the light conditions.
A matter of personal preference, comfort is absolutely paramount when it comes to choosing your day-to-day eyewear. In the past spectacles could be cumbersome, but nowadays most pairs are lightweight and designed around achieving maximum comfort. However, if they are not fitted properly, they may exert pressure on your nose and ears which can result in headaches and general discomfort.
With contact lenses, you may have been put off by a bad experience in the past, but when considering contacts vs. glasses it’s important to note that technology has developed beyond recognition over the past decade. Today, contact lenses aim to sit seamlessly in your eyes – so much so that you’ll probably forget you’re even wearing them!
Vogue recently stated that spectacles are the ‘must-have’ fashion accessory, with catwalks showcasing them as the ultimate style companion. And with such an array of designer eyewear on offer, glasses do present a great opportunity for you to project your personality and fashion sense.
However, there may be occasions when you’d prefer to go without your specs, or you might find spectacles can distract from your facial features, so contact lenses might be a great solution. And if you wear contacts you’ll never have to worry about matching an outfit to your eyewear again!
Ease of Use
Glasses generally require almost no maintenance, and can be easily carried around in a small case perhaps with a couple of wipes for incidental smudging. With contact lenses, some people experience difficulty putting them into their eyes and taking them out. However, with a little guidance and practice the technique can be quickly learned.
Your fingers don’t go anywhere near your eyes when you don a pair of glasses, decreasing your risk of irritation or contracting infections. Spectacles also protect your eyes against dust, wind and sand, making them the ideal choice for dry or sensitive eyes.
Contact lenses, however, do require a bit of upkeep depending on the variety. To minimize your risk of contracting an eye infection, you’ll need to clean your contact lenses every day or consider switching to daily disposable lenses to give you more flexibility. In addition, although technology has become much better over the years, contact lenses can lower the amount of oxygen reaching your eye and increase your risk of dry eye disease and exacerbate symptoms of computer vision syndrome. If you do wear contact lenses full time, we’d recommend investing in an ‘emergency’ pair of glasses with your current prescription to give your eyes an occasional break…
Although buying a pair of spectacles is often a big upfront investment, if you look after a pair of high quality frames it can often work out cheaper than wearing contact lenses in the long run, as you can simply replace lenses if your prescription changes. Whereas with contact lenses, supplies of lenses, solution and cases need to be regularly topped up.
As you can see, contacts vs. glasses come with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some of our patients consider switching from glasses to contacts entirely, some prefer to stick to their spectacles, and many broaden their options and wear a combination of the two.
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If you’d like to find out more, why not give us a call on 0207 224 7400 or pop into the practice to speak to one of our team.