Contacts or glasses: Which is better?


Fact Box

  • According to museum curators at the College of Optometrists in London, nearsighted glasses were invented in Europe during the 15th century. 
  • Although reports indicate contact lenses were produced for the first time in the late 1800s, modern-day plastic contact lenses, or gas-permeable contact lenses, were first created in the 1940s. 
  • According to the Vision Council, about 164 million American adults currently wear glasses.
  • The CDC reports that the average contacts wearer is 31 years old.

Haley (Contacts)

Contacts are a better alternative to glasses in several ways, including unimpaired vision, practicality, and convenience.  

As opposed to glasses, there are many benefits to contacts sitting directly on your eyes, most notably that your peripheral vision is not affected. Additionally, the headaches and discomfort that come with ill-fitting glasses frames are eliminated.   

Unlike glasses, contacts do not fog up from heat or cold, which is especially helpful while wearing a face mask. They can also be worn under goggles and sunglasses, eliminating the need for expensive prescription pairs.

Further, contacts are much more efficient to wear for sports and exercise because they will not slip or fall off. The blurry peripheral vision and constant adjusting of sweaty specs may even affect an athlete's concentration and, ultimately, their performance, not to mention the real possibility of glasses breaking during contact sports and causing bodily injury. Additionally, in sports such as dance, gymnastics, and colorguard, glasses can be distracting for the wearers and the audience. 

In terms of convenience, if a pair of daily disposable contact lenses is somehow torn or damaged, you always have another pair on-hand to grab. However, if you damage the frame or crack the lenses on a pair of glasses, you need to either send them out for repairs or purchase a whole new pair.

Finally, there are also several aesthetic reasons why contacts are better. They allow you to experiment with eye color, they never clash with your outfit or jewelry, and they do not warp the size of your eyes the way a strong glasses prescription would. 

Julian (Glasses)

If looking for a way to correct your vision, just put on a pair of glasses! They are far superior to contact lenses in terms of maintenance, cost, and ocular health.  

Glasses are easier to wear and maintain than contact lenses, as they don't need cleaning often. And if they do happen to get dirty, cleaning them is as simple as wiping them down or washing them off--as opposed to the rigid cleaning rituals involved with contact lenses. Glasses are also easy to take on and off, unlike contact lenses, which require one to touch their eyes and store the lenses somewhere sterile. Further, glasses tend to be cheaper than contacts in the long run because they do not need to be habitually discarded. 

Glasses also don't cause irritation as much as contact lenses do because they don't reduce the amount of oxygen that can reach your eyes. Contact lens usage is also associated with a higher risk of dry eye syndrome, as the lenses tend to absorb the natural tears that your eyes produce. Most importantly, in the age of COVID, glasses don't require the wearer to touch their eyes directly with possibly infected hands.

Finally, glasses are better because they allow you to express your fashion sense. There is a vast selection of frame styles and the option to choose lenses that darken when exposed to sunlight, meaning they can double as a cool pair of shades. 

Without a doubt, the best option to help you see better is right at the top of your nose. Glasses are easy to care for, endlessly stylish, healthier, and they won't break the bank!

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