Whether you have just recently found out you need corrective lenses or you have been wearing glasses for years, it can be difficult to consider contact lenses. You may have been disconcerted watching friends put contact lenses into their eyes, heard horror stories about what contact lenses could do… the list goes on and on. This guide isn’t to persuade you to rush out and get contact lenses, but rather to hear what a beginner contact lens wearer can say about them compared to the glasses he’s worn all his life.
Pros of Contact Lenses
1. Arguably the biggest advantage of contact lenses is that they don’t hide your face like glasses do. If you don’t feel like glasses enhance your physical appearance, contact lenses are a good alternative.
2. Contact lenses don’t get dirty, fogged up, or broken when you’re exposed to the elements (or the kneecap of a careless athlete).
3. With contact lenses, you are closer to having good natural vision. In other words, because it’s against the eye, your peripheral vision is just as good as straight in front of you. Plus, if you are used to seeing the frames of your glasses all the time, you might be excited to find that they’re gone too. With contact lenses, it’s practically the same as seeing with your own eyes.
4. Because they sit in a cleaning solution when not in use, contact lenses are consistently clear/clean, which isn’t always the case for glasses–they can smudge and attract dirt easily, and this can be frustrating during the day.
5. Ideally, once the contact lenses are on, you don’t have to worry about them until you take them off, which means no adjusting your glasses, no wiping your glasses’ lenses on your shirt to clean them, and even no feeling the weight of the frames constantly pressing down on your nose and cheeks.
6. You can finally wear sunglasses and goggles without looking like an idiot.
Cons of Contact Lenses
1. For most people, the biggest con to contact lenses is that they can be more expensive long-term than glasses. This depends entirely on your individual situation, but a lot of contact lens wearers use disposable contact lenses and have to continually buy more. Comparatively, a good pair of glasses can last you for years if your prescription doesn’t change. To be fair, however, there are permanent contact lenses as well.
2. You can lose contact lenses easier. Granted, it’s possible for your grandpa to forget that his glasses are resting on his head, but contact lenses are more prone to being misplaced because they’re clear and small. Worst of all, if you misplace one and don’t have decent eyesight, it can be really hard to find, especially for us nearsighted folks.
3. Naturally, when you have something pressed up against your eye, there is a greater potential for some serious problems like infections or damage to the cornea. If you are careful and follow instructions, this is a minimal risk, but it’s still more likely than if you use glasses.
4. Contact lenses aren’t always comfortable. Even after you get used to them, there will be times when your eyes feel really dry or have a burning sensation. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider contact lenses, but you should be aware that your eyes will not always be as comfortable as they are with glasses.
5. There’s more effort and money associated with the maintenance of contact lenses. You have to have a cleaning solution, and if you’re using disposable contact lenses you have to keep track of how long you’ve been using the current pair so that you know when to move on to the next one.
6. What if you’re hiking, or on the beach, or going to be away for three days? Whenever something like this happens, it can be tough to wear contact lenses, because you might be away from restrooms or just not want to lug all the accoutrements that go with contact lenses. In these cases, glasses are likely a better choice.
7. There are times when you didn’t get a lot of sleep or your eyes are irritating you, and it just is too uncomfortable to use contact lenses.
So what is right for you? Well, it’s up to your budget, your vision plan, and how much time and effort you want to put into maintaining the corrective lenses you wear. I would recommend making sure that your prescription isn’t changing much before you decide on contact lenses, because once you do, it’s likely that you will still want to use your glasses on occasion, like in some of the examples in number 6 of the con list.
Overall, both contacts and glasses have their advantages, and for this reason, if you’ve been considering contact lenses, it might be a good idea to give them a try–especially if you have a back-up pair of glasses. I hope you see the pros and cons of contacts and glasses more clearly now.