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Which is Best for You: Glasses or Contacts?

Well, the debate continues—should you wear eye glasses or contact lenses if you require a prescription? People have been arguing with each other (and themselves) trying to answer this question for years. Some people will wear nothing but contact lenses, and others swear by their eye glasses. And then there are those who use both. So which is best for you? Here are some tips that will help you decide.

Ask eye doctors.

It’s important to talk to eye doctors before you get your heart set on either glasses or contacts. Though nearly 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, there are still some prescriptions that may not work as contact lenses. And, some people will only need prescriptions for certain tasks—say, for reading or driving. If that’s the case, it might just be easier to use glasses. Whatever your situation is, you will need eye doctors to determine what type of prescription you need.

Are you active or outside a lot?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may want to consider contacts over glasses. Contacts can be less cumbersome because they won’t move around when you’re running, biking, or sweating. Glasses, on the other hand, can slip down your nose or fog up from sweat or inclement weather. Things like helmets and goggles are easier to use without glasses, as well. The one area where glasses have contacts beat though is when you step outside. Glasses can now automatically tint darker when exposed to sun.

Are you on a budget?

If money is an issue, there are some who say that contact lenses are more expensive. You have to replace them frequently and buy solutions and cleaners for them. Glasses, on the other hand, are replaced less frequently provided you don’t scratch or break them.

Do you want to make a fashion statement?

Glasses can be a great way to set you apart from the crowd. Nowadays, you can get just about any color or shape of glasses you want. Some of the newest trends are brightly colored rims—even seen on people who don’t require prescriptions! However, contact lenses give you the option to change your eye color. You can have blue eyes if you’re tired of your brown ones, or you can go bold and get violet or pink even!

How bad is your vision?

If you can’t see your hand in front of your face, you may want to consider contact lenses. Contact lenses can give you a wider field of vision and cause fewer distortions because they conform to the curvature of your eye—something glasses can’t do. There are even some contact lenses that can temporarily correct your vision overnight, called orthokeratology. In the morning, you remove the contact lenses, and you can see during the day without glasses or contacts.

Are you pressed for time?

If your child requires a prescription, or you require one, and you want whatever is easiest and quickest, you may want to go with glasses. Contact lenses require more time than glasses. You have to clean them and change them regularly or you could get infections. There are some contact lenses that you can fall asleep in, but many must still be removed before bed to avoid dry, irritated eyes.

Do you care what other people think?

Historically, there has been a certain perception of people who wear glasses. Some say they make you look smarter—others say geeky. This doesn’t seem to be much of an issue any longer because glasses are so common. Now, you’re more likely to be viewed as trendy—just look at celebrities like Zooey Deschanel! Interestingly though, a study done in 2007 showed that people who wore glasses were more likely to succeed in job interviews.

These tips can hopefully give you an idea of what’s most important to you when deciding whether to wear glasses or contacts or both. Just make sure to discuss things with your eye doctors and feel comfortable in what you choose.

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