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Glasses or Contact Lenses?

Personal preference is what mostly determines whether or not you choose glasses or contact lenses. Comfort, convenience, lifestyle, budget and aesthetics all play an important role in the decision making process. Both glasses and contact lenses offer a variety of pros and cons when it comes to vision, ease of use and eye health, and neither is inherently better than the other.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Contact Lenses


  • Since contact lenses conform to the curvature of your eye they are able to provide you with a wider field of vision, as well as provide less visual distortions and obstructions.
  • Contact lenses make playing sports easier since you do not need to worry about your glasses falling off and potentially getting broken.
  • Contact lenses never clash with what you are wearing, and are not affected by weather conditions. You can see clearly even in rain or cold weather because you do not need to worry about precipitation or fog clouding your vision.
  • Coloured contact lenses allow you to change the colour of your eyes, letting you experiment with different eye colours.
  • Some contact lenses can reshape your cornea while you sleep. These special orthokeratology lenses are able to temporarily correct myopia, allowing you to see clearly the next day without wearing contact lenses or glasses.


  • Some people have trouble applying contact lenses to their eyes, though practice and proper technique can rectify this in most cases.
  • Contacts can increase your risk for dry eye syndrome because they reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your eye.
  • Contacts can also increase your risk of experiencing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome if you spend a lot of your time on the computer.
  • Properly caring for and cleaning your contact lenses is integral to your eye health and helps you avoid potentially serious eye infections. However, individuals that cannot commit to the care and recommended replacement cycle of contact lenses may consider daily disposable lenses.
  • If you accidentally sleep in your contact lenses your eyes will likely be dry, gritty, red and irritated when you wake. If you frequently fall asleep wearing your contact lenses you may consider extended wear contact lenses, some of which are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Glasses


  • Since you do not need to touch your eyes in order to wear glasses you reduce the chance of irritating your eyes and potentially developing eye infections.
  • Contact lenses can irritate sensitive eyes, whereas glasses do not.
  • Glasses are typically less expensive than contact lenses in the long term. Glasses do not need to be replaced as often, and even if your prescription changes you may be able to keep your frames and simply update your lenses.
  • Glasses offer a unique fashion accessory, and can help you make a bold statement.
  • Glasses are better at protecting your eyes from wind, dust and debris than contact lenses are.


  • Since glasses sit about 12mm from your eyes they can distort your peripheral vision. Many people report blurry vision or trouble focusing on objects when they first get glasses or change their prescription.
  • Eyeglasses are affected by the elements more than contact lenses are. Vision can become obstructed by precipitation or foggy lenses.
  • Some individuals feel that they do not look good in glasses, or that they detract from or obstruct their facial features.
  • The stronger your prescription the thicker the edges of your lenses will need to be. The thick edges of the lenses may look unappealing, and some grades of lenses might make your eyes appear unnaturally large or small.
  • Ill fitted frames can exert pressure on the bridge of your nose or the area behind your ears, causing general discomfort or headaches.

Many individuals choose to wear both contact lenses and glasses, switching between them depending on the task at hand or the aesthetic they wish to achieve. However, if you do choose to wear contact lenses full time you should make sure you have a backup pair of up-to-date glasses. This ensures your vision can function normally should you have to stop wearing contact lenses because of an eye infection or irritation or if you want to give your eyes a break.

For more information about glasses and contact lenses, or to schedule an appointment, contact Market Mall Optometry today at 403.286.4884 and visit

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