Which Lens is Right for You? A Comparison Guide to Prescription Glasses vs. Contact Lenses

Anyone who requires prescription lenses on a daily basis has tried to weigh-up the pros and cons of prescription glasses and contact lenses. This article may be useful if you’re still trying to decide which is right for you. Read on for a considered, well-informed comparison of contact lenses and prescription glasses.

Versatility

There are so variations of sight problems out there and there is a huge range of solutions. Many people require very specific lenses in order to see clearly. Prescription glasses are sophisticated enough that you can find the perfect lenses for you – especially if you require lenses with two or more prescriptions combined together as either bifocals (two prescriptions) or varifocals (three or more prescriptions).

With specialist lenses, you can look through a different part of the lenses to see a specific distance. This is really useful if you need to see about four metres away to watch TV and then only 60cm away to read your crossword puzzle.

Standard contact lenses, on the other hand, do not come in bifocal or varifocal prescriptions, so they are not nearly as versatile. However, recent technology has produced state-of-the-art multifocal contact lenses that allow wearers to see at different distances.

These contact lenses are not cheap, but they may be worth the money if you really hate wearing glasses or swapping your glasses when switching between short, mid, and long distances. You can read much more about multifocal contact lenses on All About Vision.

Running and Playing Sports

If you’re a woman who loves playing sports, then contact lenses may be preferable, as they provide your eyes with the correct magnification they need to see clearly without the hassle of wearing glasses. This is especially useful if you’re playing a contact sport like rugby where your glasses would probably be broken or perhaps even dangerous as the lenses could break off and press into your eyes.

Also, contact lenses have an edge on prescription glasses if you struggle to find sports glasses that fit your face snugly enough to ensure they don’t wiggle around or fall off when you’re exercising. Constantly worrying about dropping your glasses can be quite the distraction!

However, if you’re running or playing sports outside, then you don’t just need prescription lenses, you require protection from the Sun’s harmful UV rays, which can cause eye cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration, and a whole host of other issues. If you’re wearing contact lenses, you will still need to wear sunglasses, so the benefits of contact lenses are greatly reduced. Instead, any high-quality prescription glasses or sunglasses will provide your eyes with total UV protection.

If you’re in any doubt that a retailer’s prescription glasses or sunglasses offer total UV protection, go to a different store or website. The best eyewear websites will clearly state 100% UV protection on each product page; Red Hot Sunglasses’ prescription glasses collection, for example, include ‘total UV protection’ in each of their models’ product descriptions.

Wraparound Oakley Radar EV Path sunglasses from RHS

If you’re looking for sporting sunglasses, then look out for models with wraparound arms as these will hug tight to your face, stopping the glasses from wobbling around on your face and distracting you.

Aesthetics

Several years ago, many people in the fashion industry would have argued that it was always better to wear contacts if you wanted to look stylish. However, eyewear has become more and more fashionable each year, and it’s not just sunglasses – glasses are incredibly trendy too.

If you’re in any doubt, just watch any fashion show and you’ll see a range of incredible-looking glasses. Another benefit to wearing glasses is that you can choose a design that balances out your features slightly, improving the overall shape and size of your face and features. Attention to detail in the fashion world can really bring an outfit to life – and glasses are a way that you can do this.

For people with round faces, look to wear glasses with square and rectangle rims as the angles will balance out your otherwise round features. It’s also a good idea to wear glasses that are wider than they are tall as they will elongate your face, making it appear more oval than circular.

For people with oval faces, you’ve lucked out, as it is widely regarded as the most aesthetically pleasing face shape of all – and any shape of sunglasses should suit you. Your glasses choice can simply come down to personal preference.

For people with square and rectangular faces, it is best to wear round and curved glasses as the softer lines help balance out your angular features.

For anyone with a pointy chin, it is best to wear top-heavy frames that draw people’s attention up towards the top of your face. For this, the best top-heavy designs are Wayfarers, Clubmasters, and cat-eye glasses.

Going on Holiday

Lastly, prescription glasses and sunglasses are arguably better for holidaymakers, as contact lenses + sand + water + wind = bad times. All of the potential irritants – especially of a beach holiday – can make contact lenses a poor choice for anyone on holiday.

Choose a good pair of prescription glasses and a good pair of prescription sunglasses instead – that way you will be covered inside and outside. The additional benefit of these is that they protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays that I discussed earlier.

It’s also very dangerous to swim with contact lenses. This is because there are various microorganisms that can cause your eyes a lot of damage, or even make you go blind, if you’re wearing contact lenses. So, avoid swimming with contact lenses and ensure you clean them thoroughly at the end of each day. Alternatively, some sunglasses have been designed to float so that swimmers don’t lose their favourite pair to Davy Jones’ Locker.

That’s it! I hope that this article has shed some light on the different pros and cons of contact lenses and prescription glasses. Ultimately, it is up to you, but it doesn’t hurt to have as much information as possible before deciding!

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