Choosing between glasses and contact lenses isn't just about vision correction — it's also about what aligns best with your lifestyle, comfort, and personal preferences. Both options offer advantages, so it helps to understand how each choice might impact your daily life.
In this guide, our experts at Maryland Eye Care Center break down the benefits and drawbacks of glasses and contact lenses so you can make an informed decision that meets your needs.
Benefits of wearing glasses
Glasses have been around since the 1200s, and there’s a reason they’ve stood the test of time:
Easy to use and maintain
Glasses are easy to put on and take off, and taking care of them is easy too. Simply use a lens cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth.
Fashionable yet protective
Glasses have evolved from purely functional to stylish. You can express your personality through different frame styles, colors, and shapes. They also provide a barrier that shields your eyes from dust, wind, and harmful UV rays.
No direct eye contact
For those uncomfortable with touching their eyes, glasses offer a noninvasive option for vision correction.
Disadvantages of wearing glasses
Although glasses are easy to wear, they do have disadvantages, namely:
The frame edges may limit your peripheral vision, especially with thicker frames.
Fogging, smudging, and glare
Glasses fog up in certain conditions, such as transitioning from a cold to warm environment. Smudging and fingerprints on the lenses are also common annoyances. And glare from lights or reflections on the lenses can affect your vision, particularly in brightly lit areas.
Engaging in sports or physical activities might put your glasses at risk of falling off or breaking. That can be remedied by wearing sports glasses or goggles with straps to secure your glasses.
Benefits of wearing contact lenses
The 45 million Americans who wear contact lenses enjoy several benefits, such as:
- Unobstructed vision, since they move with your eyes
- Enhanced peripheral vision without frames blocking your side vision
- The ability to showcase your natural features
- No glare, since contacts sit directly on your eyes
People who are active often prefer the convenience of contact lenses.
Disadvantages of wearing contact lenses
Not everyone can tolerate contact lenses due to specific eye conditions or sensitivities. Other disadvantages include:
Learning curve and daily maintenance
Inserting and removing contact lenses can be tricky initially and might require some practice. Contacts demand diligent hygiene, requiring proper cleaning, disinfecting, and storage to prevent eye infections.
Dryness and discomfort
Some wearers experience dry eyes or discomfort due to allergies or reduced oxygen flow to the eyes.
Which is right for you?
Factors that can help you decide include:
- Your daily activities, hobbies, and preferences
- Your comfort level with inserting and wearing contact lenses
- The degree of vision correction you require
- Your manual dexterity (e.g., glasses might be better for children and older adults)
Also, do you prioritize fashion and self-expression through eyewear or prefer the subtlety of contact lenses? If the former, Maryland Eye Care Center offers many fashionable frames from top-end brands such as Coach, Columbia Eyewear, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, and Michael Kors.
It’s a personal choice
There’s no right or wrong answer to the glasses-or-contacts question. In fact, you might opt for both! Many people who wear contacts also keep a pair of glasses on hand.
Whatever you choose, the goal is clear, comfortable vision that enhances your quality of life. And we can help. To get started with an eye exam, call one of our locations in Silver Spring or Hyattsville, Maryland, or book your visit online.