When Should You Opt for Glasses Vs. Contact Lenses?

When it comes to improving vision, many individuals face the common dilemma of selecting the most suitable option between glasses and contact lenses. Both vision aids possess their distinct set of advantages and disadvantages, causing this choice to turn into a tricky decision frequently. 

This article aims to guide you through the key factors to consider, with an aim to help you make a well-informed decision that best fits your lifestyle, aesthetic preferences, comfort, and budget.

Understanding Glasses Vs. Contacts

Choosing between glasses and contacts can be a personal and lifestyle-dependent decision. Glasses, the traditional corrective tool, offer convenient style variation and can protect your eyes. Contacts, on the other hand, provide a more natural field of vision and free movement, which is particularly important during physical activities. Your vision type, comfort preferences, aesthetic desires, and daily routine will also majorly influence your decision.

It’s essential to visit an eye care facility like the eye center in Bloomington to understand the characteristics of both contacts and glasses and make the most suitable choice for your vision needs.

Pros and Cons of Eyeglasses


  • Eyewear Selection. Glasses provide a wide array of styles and frames, allowing you to show off your personality.
  • Protection. Besides correcting vision, glasses provide a physical barrier protecting your eyes from dust, wind, and debris.
  • Maintenance. Glasses require only simple cleaning and regular check-ups.


  • Outdoor Activities. Glasses can fog up, slip, or even fall off during physical activities or in wet weather.
  • Visual Field. Glasses can obstruct your peripheral vision, providing only corrected vision within the frame.
  • Cost. Depending on the prescription and frame, glasses can sometimes be expensive.

Pros and Cons of Contact Lenses


  • Sports. Contacts are safer and more convenient for sports as they do not affect peripheral vision and accommodate safety equipment.
  • Natural View. Contact lenses provide a natural field of vision without obstructions or distortions.
  • Aesthetics. Contacts provide a natural look unaltered by frames.


  • Care. Contacts require daily cleaning and lens case replacement to avoid infections.
  • Health. Lenses block oxygen to your eyes, which can lead to dryness and discomfort.
  • Cost. Regular replacement of contacts can be expensive, especially for premium brands or specialty lenses.

What Are the Effects of Glasses and Contacts on Eye Health?

The Impact of Glasses on Eye Health

Glasses generally have a minimal direct effect on your eye health. Made to correct your vision, they merely modify the light entering your eyes. Their most significant benefit to eye health may be their ability to block harmful UV light if they’re UV-protected. They can also serve as a protective barrier against dirt and allergens, reducing the chance of irritation and eye infections and giving dry eye relief.

Eye Strain

However, incorrect or outdated glasses prescriptions can cause eye strain, leading to discomfort, headaches, and even worsening your vision. Therefore, regular eye exams are crucial to ensure your glasses accurately match your prescription.

The Impact of Contact Lenses on Eye Health

As they are worn directly on the eyes, contact lenses may have more significant effects on eye health. While they offer benefits, such as unobstructed peripheral vision and convenience, they can also adversely impact your eyes if not used correctly.

Contact Lens Overwear

Overwearing contact lenses (especially sleeping in them) can lead to a condition known as hypoxia, where your eyes do not get enough oxygen. Hypoxia can lead to redness, swelling, discomfort, and infection, and in severe cases, can result in a vision-threatening corneal ulcer.

Irritation and Dry Eyes

Contact lenses may also cause dry eyes and irritation, especially in environments with air conditioning, dry air, or dust. Moreover, poor contact lens care can lead to eye infections. Therefore, it’s crucial to clean and store them correctly and to replace them as recommended by your optometrist.

Deciding Between Glasses and Contacts

Understanding Your Vision Needs

The first key point in this decision-making process is evaluating your eyesight requirements. Long-sighted individuals may prefer glasses for reading or tasks requiring close focus. On the other hand, short-sighted or myopic people may opt for contacts due to the uninterrupted field of vision they offer.

Effect on Lifestyle

You should weigh the impact glasses or contacts would have on your daily activities. Gymgoers, athletes, or those generally leading an active lifestyle may find contact lenses a more practical solution. Conversely, if your job involves staring at screens for extended periods, glasses, especially those with blue-light filters, can reduce digital eye strain.

Personal Comfort

Your comfort with either glasses or contact lenses also matters tremendously. Some individuals might find contacts uncomfortable and hard to manage, particularly initially. Others might dislike the feel or look of glasses, choosing contact lenses for a more ‘natural’ vision correction approach.

Maintenance Commitment

Glasses usually demand less maintenance, and you simply need to keep them clean. Contacts, however, require more meticulous cleaning and storage habits to prevent infections and protect your eye health.

Fashion & Aesthetics

Considering the aesthetic impact is also relevant. Some people prefer the wide variety of frames & styles offered by glasses, which can be a chance to showcase their personality. Others prefer the unnoticeable quality of contacts for a seamless look.

Consider Financial Factors

While cost shouldn’t be the decisive factor, it’s certainly worth considering. Designer glasses can be pricey, but you only buy them once unless your vision changes. Contacts might seem cheaper upfront, but the cost of monthly replacements and cleaning solutions can add up.

Seek Professional Advice

Finally, consult with your optometrist. They can provide personalized advice based on your eye health, lifestyle, and the severity of your vision impairment. Trying out each option before settling on a long-term solution could also be worthwhile.

You can visit an optometrist to learn more about proper eye care.

Final Thoughts

The choice between glasses and contacts is a personal one. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages and impacts everyone differently. Consult with your eye care provider about the best option for you, taking into account your lifestyle, profession, comfort, and budget.