When people talk about technological advances made during the past few decades, they are usually referring to devices such as computers, sophisticated audio and visual systems or advanced engineering now used in the manufacture of cars and other vehicles. However, technology has lots of applications, and some of the most useful and life-enhancing ones are those changes that have assisted health and wellbeing, such as pacemakers to regulate the heart, digital hearing aids to improve sound and the superior vision that can now be achieved when using either glasses or contact lenses. Which of these last two is better? Really, it all depends on the circumstances. Here are a few tips about when to go for a pair of spectacles, and when it is more advisable to opt for contact lenses instead.
Spectacles have many advantages: for example, they are easy to clean and relatively cheap in the long term as they don’t have to be replaced as frequently as contact lenses and there is no need to purchase new frames each time. As they do not make contact with the eyeball itself, the risk of eye infections is reduced. Sensitive or dry eyes are not affected when wearing glasses, whereas they can be when wearing contact lenses, and glasses do offer a degree of protection from dust, sand, wind and other environmental debris. Glasses have come a long way in terms of design and nowadays they can be something of a fashion statement. There is a wide range of colours and frames from which to choose and glasses can be a fashion accessory as well as an aid to improved vision.
Wearing contacts means that vision is unobstructed, and this applies particularly to peripheral vision because lenses fit the curvature of the eye and provide a wider view, without glare or reflection. They’re particularly useful when exercising or playing sports as there is little danger of them breaking. The climate has no effect on lenses, whereas spectacles can fog up in cold weather. Certain types of lenses actually help reshape the cornea overnight, temporarily correcting conditions such as myopia. This means the following day the wearer has improved vision, without the need for lenses or glasses. Perhaps even more of a fashion statement than glasses, contacts come in a variety of colours that change the eye colour of the wearer.
What’s the verdict?
The proverb ‘horses for courses’ applies to this debate meaning different solutions are suited to different situations. It’s perfectly possible to invest in a pair of glasses, for example, and opt to switch to contact lenses for sports events, such as swimming or rugby, and exercise classes, particularly if these will be vigorous workouts. Switching can even be done at short notice – nowadays last minute lenses are available online for next day delivery and it is possible to get daily disposable lenses as well as the continuous wear variety. In the end, personal preference and lifestyle choices are the best guide to whether to opt for contact lenses or glasses.
Do you prefer glasses or lenses?