Glasses or Contacts? Weigh the Pros and Cons

Anyone who experiences problems with their vision should be fitted for corrective lenses. Standard eyeglasses have been used for centuries to help people achieve greater visual clarity so that they can function better in everyday life. Famous historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin and King Louis XV were known to wear eyeglasses on a regular basis.

In the 17th century, a French scientist named René Descartes improved upon an idea of Italian inventor Leonardo di Vinci to create a corrective lens prototype that involved placing a water-filled tube directly on the eye to try to enhance vision. This prototype played an integral role in the development of the first standard contact lenses in the 19th century.

The choice of whether to get eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct vision problems depends on each person’s specific needs. There are pros and cons to both options, and several factors should be considered when trying to reach a decision.

Who Needs Glasses?

Glasses are used to correct a variety of vision problems. People who are farsighted often rely on glasses to see close-up objects that may appear blurry. Objects that are at a farther distance and appear blurry because of nearsightedness can also be seen clearer with the right type of eyeglass lenses. In the case of astigmatism, which occurs when the eyeball has an irregular shape, eyeglasses can be worn to address vision challenges.

There are several types of lenses that are designed to correct specific sight problems. People who have difficulties seeing objects in the distance often benefit from single-vision lenses. Multifocal lenses often work well for addressing problems with both farsightedness and nearsightedness. People who need reading glasses but also want to be able to see things clearly in the distance usually benefit from bifocals. Trifocal and progressive lenses are available as well.

Benefits of Glasses

There are many reasons why a person may choose to wear glasses over contacts. Since eyeglass lenses aren’t worn directly on the corneas, they can correct vision problems without irritating the eyes. Eyeglasses can also give the eyes better protection from dirt, debris and other irritants. Many eyeglass wearers report that glasses are more comfortable to wear and easier on the eyes. People often have an easier time keeping track of their glasses without losing them. Little effort is usually needed to clean glasses, which makes them a convenient option. Many eyeglass problems can be fixed with a few simple adjustments. Glasses can also be used to enhance personal style and can be fitted with frames that are available in many different shape, size and color options. Some people see eyeglasses as a sign of intelligence and may subconsciously have more respect for other people who are seen wearing them.

Benefits of Contacts

Many people who have problems with their vision opt for contact lenses because they are sometimes seen as a more aesthetically pleasing option. Contacts can be worn to improve vision without anyone else having to know about them. Disposal lenses can easily be discarded and replaced with new ones. Contact lenses also move with the eye and can correct vision problems more comprehensively and feel more natural when wearing them. People who engage in contact sports or other vigorous physical activities often find that contacts are safer and less cumbersome to wear. Contact lenses can also be used to make the eyes more visually appealing by changing their color. Humidity, cold and other environmental conditions won’t fog up contacts the same way as they would with eyeglass lenses. There are even some contact lenses that are safe to sleep in and can offer maximum visual clarity when waking up in the morning.

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