glasses or contact lenses

Glasses vs Contacts – one, other, or both?

When considering sight correction, the non-surgical options presented to you will be glasses or contact lenses, but which one should you choose? There are a variety of reasons why you may choose one over the other or even why you might switch between them.

Your job, lifestyle, hobbies and prescription can all dictate which option will be better for you and in this blog we wanted to set out some of these scenarios for you, to help you decide what to go for.

Glasses

What are the advantages of glasses?

Glasses have been worn for centuries, helping people see clearly whether they struggle with reading or distance and there are masses of options to choose from, this means –

  • You can find a style that suits you as well as coatings and other neat features to protect your eyes while wearing them. The variety of spectacles on offer means that you can even find different styles for different occasions!  If you need to wear glasses all the time, it can feel quite nice to have an alternative option for special events such as nights out or weddings. 
  • Glasses are easy to take on and off and come with very little risk or difficulty – even for those with limited dexterity or fine motor skills.
  • The options available mean that there are affordable options for all budgets, with additional help from the NHS for those who are entitled.
  • They are widely available and can usually be repaired should they be damaged – however some breakages can be beyond even the most skilled opticians!

What are the disadvantages of glasses?

  • Although some people may be entitled to vouchers from the NHS to help with the cost, the price can start to increase if you are looking at designer glasses or lenses with multiple features such as thinner materials, photochromic lenses or anti-fog coatings.
  • Glasses can dictate your look and style and will be with you for a long time, unless you choose to splash out on multiple pairs this means finding a pair you are happy to live with long term meaning you might not feel comfortable being ‘brave’ with your choices.
  • Glasses can be easy to drop and break, or even sit on and if you only have one pair you could be without for a while until they are repaired or replaced.

Ultimately, glasses are usually the first choice for people who require some form of sight correction, particularly children and the elderly, and while they have clear benefits, they also have drawbacks which come with wearing them.

Read more: How much do glasses cost?

Contact Lenses

What are the advantages of contact lenses?

  • Contact lenses allow the wearer to purchase sunglasses off the shelf, saving money on prescription versions.
  • Contacts can also be cheap – relatively. This means that they offer a lot of flexibility, as daily disposable lenses can be kept for special occasions if you prefer to wear glasses on a day to day basis.
  • Monthly reusable lenses will cost around £30 a month and will allow you the freedom to ditch glasses altogether.
  • Contact lenses can be purchased using a rolling direct debit, meaning they can be ordered in and ready for you to collect each month so you never run out.

What are the disadvantages of contact lenses?

  • There are some things to consider though – contact lenses might require some compromise in your prescription, particularly if you need help with reading or using computers. 
  • They also require some skill put in and take out, however even the shakiest of hands should be able to manage with practice and guidance from us.
  • Contacts are also prone to picking up bacteria, increasing the risk of infections and, while this is rare, it is quite unpleasant and even sight-threatening. For this reason we advise not wearing them around water (i.e washing, showering, swimming, hot tubs, etc). If you feel you really need contacts for swimming speak to us as there may be other options such as overnight contacts.

Read more: Do I need to pay for eye tests?

Glasses or Contact Lenses – which one should I choose?

The simple answer is – if you don’t have to choose between the two, don’t! The great thing about contacts is that they are flexible, so if you want to wear them every day you can, but if you are happy with glasses and just want the option of leaving them at home (say for sports, a night out, or any other reason) you can keep a stash of disposable contacts in your bathroom cupboard.

If you are curious about contact lenses, speak to us about a contact lens assessment where we can check if they would be suitable for you, explain the options available, and the costs involved.

For more information give us a call on 01356 629293 or book an appointment through our website.

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