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Glasses Versus Contact Lenses

Which is better, contacts or glasses? This question does not have a one size fits all answer, but there are instances where glasses have advantages over contact lenses and vice versa.

Glasses

Pros

+ Glasses are available in a wide variety of style and shapes, and can make a fashion statement
+ Glasses are available in a large range of powers, including the ability to correct small amounts of astigmatism
+ Glasses offer superior protection against projectile objects hitting the eye. Lens materials such as polycarbonate and trivex are impact resistant, resulting in a lowered risk of eye injury. Safety glasses and sports goggles are made of these materials. Even run of the mill plastic lenses offer some level of eye protection.
+ Glasses do not increase the risk of eye infections, eye irritation, or ocular allergies (itchy eyes)
+ Glasses will not make ocular allergies (itchy eyes) worse

Cons

– Glasses are heavier than contacts, and may irritate the nose or ears in sensitive individuals
– Some individuals may experience allergic dermatitis (itchy skin) when exposed to metals contained in certain frame materials
– Glasses do not provide as clear vision peripherally as contact lenses

Contact Lenses

Pros

+ Contacts may offer increased comfort to patients who feel glasses are heavy or uncomfortable
+ For individuals with large prescriptions or corneal diseases, contact lenses may offer superior vision
+ Contact lenses offer improved peripheral vision compared to glasses
+ Contact lenses are often considered more aesthetically pleasing
+ Individuals can wear over the counter sunglasses with contact lenses
+ Contact lenses do not fog up or slip off the face during exercise

Cons

– Contact lenses may cause increased eye irritation and itching in individuals prone to allergies
– Contact lenses may increase the risk of eye infections when proper contact lens hygiene is not followed
– Contact lenses may worsen dry eye symptoms
– For individuals with small amounts of astigmatism or presbyopia, there may be a slight compromise in visual clarity compared to glasses
– Patients who fear objects getting close to their eyes may have trouble learning to insert and remove contact lenses
– Contact lenses are not available in all powers
If you wear contact lenses, we strongly recommend having a pair of backup glasses. If you ever contract an eye infection, you will need to discontinue contact lens wear immediately. Having a pair of glasses also allows your eyes to take a break from the contact lenses every now and then, which leads to improved contact lens comfort.

Pediatric glasses or contact lenses

What age should my child begin wearing contact lenses?

The answer to this question really depends on the maturity of your child. Patients wearing contacts must be responsible. They will need to remember to wash their hands before touching contact lenses or their eyes. They will need to remove the contact lenses at night to clean the lenses, (unless wearing daily disposable contacts) and replace them according to schedule. We recommend that interested patients begin contact lens wear at age 12. Younger patients who are very motivated, or who have a parent willing to stay on top of their contact lens hygiene habits, may also have success with contact lens wear.

512 Eye has a wide selection of glasses and contacts

We are experts in fitting glasses and contacts. Our optician has many years of experience and expertise to ensure your eyeglasses fit properly, have the correct lens materials and features to suit your individual needs, and that all measurements are taken accurately. Dr. Langer keeps up with the latest advancements in contact lenses, to provide you with improved comfort and clear vision with contacts. Whether you decide to go with glasses or contacts, 512 Eye has a wide selection and will provide you with excellent customer service.

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