Glasses Vs. Contact Lenses – Which is Better?
The glasses vs contact lenses debate has been on for decades now. However, neither has been a clear winner as each has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on the personal preference of a person. Moreover, factors such as comfort, budget, lifestyle and appearance also significantly impact the choice between glasses and contact lenses.
Let us understand the two popular eyewear solutions and enumerate the respective advantages and disadvantages.
What are glasses?
Being used since centuries to empower those with a weak vision or an eye issue, glasses are one of the most trusted eyewear choices. Typically, there are two types of glasses:
- Single-vision glasses: These glasses are specially engineered to assist people with either nearsightedness or farsightedness.
- Multi-focal glasses: These glasses solve the dual purpose and help both nearsightedness and farsightedness. These are further divided into three types:
- Bifocals: These glasses host the distance lenses on the upper half and the near-vision corrector lens on the lower part.
- Trifocals: These glasses have three divisions. The upper for distance vision, the lower for near-sight and the middle for normal vision.
- Progressive: These are bifocal and trifocal glasses, without any distinguishing barrier.
With the advancement of time, glasses, which were earlier made of glass, are now prepared with plastic or specifically engineered materials. These include:
- Polycarbonate and trivex: These lenses are thinner, lighter, and provide 10-times more impact resistance than plastic or glass lenses. Moreover, these are also UV protected.
- High-index lenses: These lenses are thinner, lighter, and have a higher index of refraction. This allows more light-rays to bend; thus, promoting clearer vision.
What are contact lenses?
Contact lenses are thin, transparent, and curved discs of plastic or glass that are directly placed on the surface of the eye. In most cases, contact lenses are worn for vision correction, but these can also solve cosmetic and therapeutic purposes. There are two types of contact lenses:
- Soft: These are made of soft plastic and comprise mostly of water. These are more popular and comfortable since they do not touch the cornea. They can further be distinguished as daily wear lenses (replaceable after a certain period), daily disposable lenses, and extended-wear lenses (overnight).
- Hard: These contact lenses are less comfortable than the soft ones but are more durable and easy to maintain. These are specifically suited for certain eye conditions and vision issues.
Why do people prefer glasses over lenses?
Despite being more advanced in their approach, lenses have only been able to become an occasional preference. However, in some cases, lenses do become a good choice, especially for aesthetic appearance and other cosmetic reasons. Lenses are expensive, difficult to maintain and not ideally suitable for every age group. They are favored only in some rare cases and activities, where wearing glasses is not permitted, such as swimming, adventure activities, etc. Some other disadvantages of contact lenses include reddening of the eyes, blockage of eye oxygen, increased risk of infection, difficulty in wearing, etc.
Hence, even today, people prefer wearing glasses over lenses, mainly due to the superior comfort they offer. Additionally, glasses offer significant advantages when compared to lenses and have been the most reliable vision solution for people of all ages.
Some of the key advantages of glasses include:
- They are easy to wear and maintain. There is no special care required.
- These can be customized to suit the style and preference of the wearer.
- Glasses can minimize infections caused due to excessive touching or rubbing of eyes.
- They can prevent the eyes from drying out or being irritated. These are best suited for sensitive eyes.
- Glasses are durable and need not be replaced for years unless broken or due to lens-power changes.
- Glasses are often reasonably priced. Thus, do not cause a dent in the budget.
- Frames can add to the personality and can become a fashion symbol. The style quotient they bring along often provides an edge to the wearer.
- Glasses help to keep dust, wind, water, pollution, etc. from directly impacting the eye.
- They are suitable for every age, including children, teenagers, adults and seniors.
Apart from these significant advantages, a major benefit of glasses is that they provide advanced safety to the wearer through a variety of ranges including anti-glare, bifocals, reading, sun protection, etc. High-quality glasses with the perfect protection solution from a trusted ophthalmic partner, such as Essilor, is the most effective care for eyes.
What is the range of glasses offered by Essilor?
Essilor is a world leader in ophthalmic optics, especially in corrective and protective lenses. From well-researched designs, competitive features, and precise manufacturing, Essilor provides unparalleled solutions for vision correction and overall eye care. Some of the top lenses and glasses offered by Essilor include:
- UV protected lenses to safeguard the eyes and surrounding skin from the harmful UV rays.
- Anti-glare lenses to shield against the blinding light for sharp and clear vision.
- Blue light protective lenses to cushion the eyes against the damaging, wide-spread blue light emitted from the sun and other sources such as digital gadgets.
- Anti-scratch lenses to secure the glasses from scratches, allowing clear vision.
- Photochromic lenses to offer corrected vision indoors and also adapt to the outdoor light, and function as sunglasses.
- Progressive lenses to allow a unified clear vision without a distinctive line separating the lens’ strengths.
- Multi-functional lenses with protective coatings to ensure one pair for all needs.
- High-index lenses to provide superior comfort and appearance.
- Anti-smudge lenses with a special coating to guard against smudges and fingerprints.
- Anti-dust lenses to avoid the accumulation of dust, sand and other particles, allowing perfect vision.
- Water-repellent lenses to protect against water droplets, permitting clear sight.
- Anti-fog glasses with a permanent anti-fog coating to avoid cloudy eyesight.
Even though the choice between glasses and contact lenses depends on personal preference, glasses have been ruling the market since their inception. This is primarily because of their superior comfort, affordable prices, variety of designs, and add-on protection options. Even though contact lenses have gained popularity, they still remain a secondary choice for most people.
Is it better to wear glasses or contact lenses?
Both glasses and contact lenses have their benefits and drawbacks. The choice depends on the need, preference, lifestyle, usage, and budget of the user.
Which is better glass or contact lens while working on a computer?
For people that work a lot on computers, it is advisable to wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Contact lenses can block out oxygen, make the eyes red and dry, and cause computer vision syndrome.
Is contact lens safe for eyes?
Yes, most contact lenses are safe if worn as per recommendation and advised duration.