Making an informed decision between glasses or contact lenses

When you have to wear prescription lenses to correct your vision, the choice you have is to wear glasses or contact lenses. When you make this decision, you must be sure that you are making an informed choice.

It is never completely either / or

If you wear glasses, you will be able to get by with only one pair—provided you take care of them, although it is usually a good idea to have a spare pair of glasses, in case something happens. For the most part, though, you put on your glasses when you need to see clearly and you take them off when you sleep, or, perhaps, take part in an activity that will not accommodate them, like swimming.

If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to have a pair of glasses with the same lens prescription, so that you can use these when you want to rest your eyes, or your contact lenses have not been cleaned thoroughly, or you only need to see clearly for a short period and don't want to take the time to put your lenses in.

So, even if you choose to have contact lenses, you will still need a pair of glasses. The choice you need to make is which you will use as your primary corrective lens.

The question of convenience

In many ways, when it comes to the question of convenience, glasses are definitely far easier to use than contact lenses. They are either on your face, or not. When they are not being used, they should be stored in a protective case, but can even simply be put down on any flat surface. Cleaning glasses involves simply wiping them—preferably with a special lens cloth, because you do not want to scratch the lenses.

Contact lenses need far more attention and take more time. They need to be cleaned using special chemicals and cannot be 'put down', but must be stored in a liquid solution in a special carrying case. If you drop a contact lens, it can be quite a big problem, because the lens maybe dirty and will have to be properly washed; or it may disappear, being so small. If you drop your glasses, it is merely a matter of picking them up and putting them back on. Then only possible problem could be if the lenses are scratched at all.

On the other hand, if you wear contact lenses comfortably, you can wear them for long periods and in all temperature conditions. A problem with glasses is that they can mist over if the air is very humid, or if you have been exercising. This is not a problem with contact lenses.

It is also far easier to protect your eyes from the sun's glare when you wear contact lenses: it's merely a matter of putting on a pair of sunglasses. If you wear glasses, you will have to either use a clip-on pair of sunglasses, or have another pair of dark prescription glasses.

Whatever decision you make about glasses or contact lenses, remember that the most important thing is that your eyes must be fitted with the prescription lenses that will correct your vision to make sure you see the world clearly.