How viable is contact lens compared to spectacles?

Dear doctor; How viable is contact lens compared to spectacles?

Dear doctor;

How viable is contact lens compared to spectacles?


Dear Damien,

A contact lens is lens put on cornea of the eye for therapeutic, cosmetic or corrective purpose. Whereas spectacles are glasses,  with a frame worn to correct visual defects or protection from ultraviolet rays or protection of eyes from dust. Contact lenses have to be worn during waking, working hours and removed before sleeping. Ordinary glasses are used as per the situation; reading glasses would be used only for reading, whereas glasses for myopic correction would be used throughout the day.

Whether one uses contact lenses or ordinary spectacles depends on choice, aesthetic reasons, budget, lifestyle and comfort. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and one is not necessarily superior than other. Eyeglasses are cheaper, easy to use, cleaning them is easy, do not have to be inserted directly in the eye, thus minimising risk of infection and if kept well do not need to be changed as often, unless broken. Spectacles can be cleaned simply by wiping with a soft clean cloth or tissue. In case of a new number prescribed, the lenses can be changed simply, keeping same frame. However, peripheral vision is obstructed by eyeglasses, they are affected by  external conditions like dust, fog, rain, etc. Also, they are inconvenient in situations like playing games, where the risk exists of their falling off. Many people report blurring of vision when they start using eye glasses particularly with a number and it takes time for their sight to be adjusted with it. The weight of the frame holding eye glasses can cause chronic headache in some individuals. Many people are not comfortable using spectacles thinking that it affects their looks.

Contact lenses offer greater clarity of vision as lenses are fitted directly over cornea. Contact lenses do not come in the way while playing games or exercising.

They are not affected by outside factors. Because of the direct pressure on the cornea, the increase in number can be prevented in a small way. But one needs to learn the technique of inserting them correctly. However, contact lenses are expensive, need greater efforts for cleanliness. Since they are inserted in the eyes directly there is risk of irritation and infection. They also cause dryness of the eyes. Protein, calcium, lipids and other substances found naturally in your tears can build up on your lenses.

These deposits make your contacts less comfortable than when they were new, and can also make your eyes prone to infection. Therefore, they have to be replaced regularly depending on the type one uses like disposables, frequent replacement or reusable.