Glasses or contact lenses?

Glasses or contact lenses?

While glasses are part of their usual outfit for some people, others are passionate advocates of contact lenses. Both glasses and lenses have evolved over the years and have pros and cons. But which is better, and what are the main differences? This article will help you weigh the pros and cons of glasses and contact lenses. You will also receive tips and information about wearing and purchasing the two visual aids.

Benefits of glasses

Almost any form of visual impairment can be easily treated with glasses. Glasses also offer the following advantages:

  • Glasses are practical and flexible because they can be put on and removed at any time. 
  • Glasses do not strain the eyes if correctly adjusted to the prescription. The eye is not touched; the glasses take over the function of the lens “from a safe distance”. 
  •  Glasses can also be worn without any problems during colds, eye infections, or hay fever, and They do not lead to dry eyes or a build-up of germs. 
  • Glasses protect the eyes from external influences like drafts, dust, insects or sand.
  • It is visible in a traffic check, so there is no need to ask if the driver’s license refers to the visual impairment.


Appearance as a disadvantage of glasses

Glasses are often seen as a fashion accessory, but only some are happy with glasses. Children and young people, in particular, often find glasses embarrassing or are even teased by other children. 

However, even adults are often bothered by their glasses regarding appearance. Regular make-up is complex to see under glasses, but too much make-up can collide with the glasses. 

In addition, glasses wearers must ensure that their appearance matches the glasses. Glasses are a fashionable element of appearance and are sometimes challenging to choose because they have to match every outfit – or you can buy several glasses. 

Other disadvantages of glasses

In addition, glasses have other disadvantages:

  • Glasses are not suitable for compensating for vision problems in every situation. As soon as it is discarded, the poor eyesight is back. However, it should be removed during sports. Otherwise, it also harbours a particular risk of injury. 
  • Sunglasses either need lenses with the right prescription or must be worn over glasses. 
  • If the glasses do not fit properly, they can press on the nose or behind the ears.
  • If there is a nickel allergy, the material of the glass frame can, in rare cases, trigger contact eczema (“glasses allergy”). 
  • Sometimes, glasses make vision more complicated than it makes it more accessible, and cleaning them only sometimes helps. For example, glasses cause problems when they fog up, reflect or restrict the field of vision. 
  • You should always protect your glasses from scratches and other damage because buying new ones can be costly.


Benefits of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are well suited to cover up a visual impairment inconspicuously. Contact lenses are available in hard and soft forms, depending on the intended use and the nature of the eye. Even a change in eye colour is possible. Oxygen-permeable contact lenses are particularly suitable for sensitive eyes; in this case, lipid drops help keep them moist.

This also speaks for contact lenses:

  • Contact lenses do not slip or fog up, or leave no pressure marks.
  • They can also be worn in the sauna and during sports, sometimes even while swimming.
  • Daily and monthly lenses can be changed regularly if there is an increased risk of infection. 
  • Contact lenses do not have to be considered in terms of fashion and make-up. 
  • Contact lenses can easily be combined with regular sunglasses.
  • Even complex cases like astigmatism can be corrected with special contact lenses.

Disadvantages of contact lenses

When it comes to contact lenses, the costs can quickly add up. While there is a contact lens for every particular case, it can be costly. Daily or monthly lenses are usually not expensive but are associated with ongoing costs for regularly purchasing lenses and care products. For the glasses, on the other hand, you only spend money once and the next time only years later – provided that the required strength stays the same. 

If contact lenses are worn too long or are poorly tolerated, they can also develop contact eczema. In many cases, eyelid inflammation is triggered by contact lens fluids or cleaning agents. 

Contact lenses are also bad for hay fever, as they can fall out of the eye or even damage it if there is too much tear fluid and infections. In addition, a pollen allergy often requires the installation of eye drops, contact lenses being a hindrance. Therefore, wearers of contact lenses should also have spare glasses.

In addition, the handling of the lenses is relatively complex compared to glasses. Some people find it difficult or even afraid to put in contact lenses. In addition, hygiene and correct handling are critical so the eye is not injured.

How do you determine the contact lens values?

It would help if you first determined the correct contact lens values to switch from glasses to contact lenses. Different values ​​apply to contact lenses than to glasses,  as these are at a greater distance from the eye. It is also difficult to convert the glass values ​​into contact lens values. 

Ideally, you should seek advice from an ophthalmologist or optician. This can determine whether the eye is suitable for contact lenses and measure the correct values ​​​​for contact lenses (diopter, radius, diameter, cylinder and axis). Among other things, the quantity and composition of the tear fluid also affect the choice of the right contact lens.


Can you wear glasses and contact lenses alternately?

Theoretically, a combination of glasses and contact lenses could be more robust. Many contact lens beginners wear the two glasses alternately to adjust their eyes to the lenses slowly. Others use it to reduce the cost of contact lenses. Others wear coloured contact lenses under their glasses or only wear contact lenses on special occasions, such as going out or playing sports.

When combining glasses and contact lenses, it should be noted that both visual aids must have values ​​that are precisely tailored to the eye. Otherwise, they strain the eye and lead to dizziness and headaches. However, even if the visual impairment has been recently determined and both visual aids have been adjusted to it, it is possible that individuals do not tolerate the combination of glasses and contact lenses well.

By the way, Contact lenses are a visual aid that can be equated with glasses. They may be worn instead of glasses when driving, even if glasses are noted on the driver’s license.

From what age are contact lenses?

The desire to replace glasses with contact lenses often arises at the latest, during puberty. This is generally considered to be unproblematic: even small children can wear contact lenses if they know how to use them themselves or if they have their parents put them in. It cannot harm them if they are correctly used and changed regularly. 

However, since hardly any parents are interested in putting contact lenses on young children, it is primarily teenagers who switch from glasses to contact lenses for the first time at their request.


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