Comparison: Glasses vs. Contacts, Which one is better?

In this article, we’re going to weigh out the pros and the cons between wearing contacts vs. glasses, going over things like the cost, the different powers of the lenses as well as which one gives you better vision. Let’s take a look.


Benefits of Wearing Glasses

Now trying to figure out which one is better: few glasses versus contacts can be a little bit tricky because they both have many benefits to them. Some of the benefits of glasses include being able to take them on and off. That’s sometimes really helpful for some people, compared to contacts which are a little bit more maintenance-heavy. And as far as the lenses go for glasses, they have amazing optical quality-- you can get something from the bargain bin if you want to. But if you want to see as sharply as you can, oftentimes glasses are probably the easiest solution to seeing better.

On top of that glasses have complete customization options whether you just want a basic frame to get you to buy or if you want something a little bit more classy, the lenses can be fully customized based on what type of lens material you want. There are a lot of different options: if there’s somebody who sees double vision or has wandering eyes, you can get prisms put into your glasses where that’s really not too possible with contacts, and then if you were somebody who has trouble seeing up close you can even get bifocals, trifocals, or progressive glasses.

Benefits of Wearing Contacts

Some of the reasons people love contact is that contact lenses give you the freedom of not having to wear anything on your face especially really good for social engagements as well as sporting activities. It’s kind of hard to play sports with thick coke bottle glasses. Wearing contact lenses also allows you to wear non-prescription sunglasses a lot easier, which is something that I absolutely love to do. 

And then also contact lenses take away some of the motion sickness and kind of distortions that you can get from wearing glasses lenses because when you wear glasses, your glasses sit about 12 millimeters in front of your corneal plane; and when you look around through different parts of the lens and shift your eyes around, you’re gonna look through that different part of the lens. And that’s gonna have a prismatic effect that we call prentices to rule and that prismatic effect can kind of give people this sense of motion or distortion in their lenses, especially for people with high amounts of higher powers or even higher amounts of astigmatism. They’re more likely to notice that motion sickness feeling. But with contact lenses, since the lenses themselves are physically touching the eye when you shift your eyes around, you’re looking through the same part of the lens all the time, and so you don’t get the same kind of prismatic effect.

Another benefit is that with contacts, you don’t have to deal with looking through a frame and part of your vision all day. Now a frequent question I get about glasses versus contact lenses has to do with the power of the lenses in your glasses versus contacts. 

Now glasses lens' power is not necessarily going to be the same as a contact lens's power. The reason for that has to do with how your glasses sit in front of your face. The closer you bring the lenses to your eye, the more negative power you’re adding to those lenses. So for people who have a stronger prescription, in eye care, we usually reduce the amount of negative power or we add more plus power when the contact lenses are getting moved from the 12 millimeters of your classes to directly onto the cornea as with contact lenses. This adjustment that your doctor factors in are based on two things the power of your glasses because the higher power you have the more adjustment means to be made as well as where your glasses are typically sitting on your face is it at 12 millimeters or is it further down at 14 or 15 millimeters-- that does make a difference.

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Now as far as cost goes for contact lenses, it’s like shopping for a new cell phone, if you want something with the newest technology that is healthiest for the eye and most comfortable expect that you’re gonna pay more. It goes far maybe around $1,000 for a year's supply for wearing contact lenses every day. Probably the biggest downside of contact lenses is that they pose a higher risk for eye complications and infection. That’s why it does take some level of responsibility to take wear care of contact lenses and to wear them properly: including cleaning and disinfecting them correctly as well as replacing them when they’re designed to be replaced. Contact lenses can also feel dry and uncomfortable for some people especially if they already have some form of dry eye disease and some people have difficulty getting contact lenses in and out of the eye.

For most people, glasses are probably gonna have a higher optical quality and will give you sharper vision as long as your glasses are clean. They’re to date and fit right as far as soft contact lenses. Now in general again, the optical qualities are not quite hitting glasses but most people should be able to still see close to 20/20 with a pair of contacts versus their glasses. 

However there are some people who do better with contact lenses, and those are usually individuals who have a really high glasses prescription-- because with the higher prescription, they’re gonna have more distortions in the lenses where somebody who has a kind of high amounts of astigmatism or some type of corneal disease such as keratoconus, they may do better with specialty contact lenses.


So as far as vision goes, it definitely depends on the person. But in general, most people do see maybe a little bit better with standard glasses versus wearing soft contact lenses. But to fully answer that question, I’m gonna pass it off to you.

Do you prefer glasses or contact lenses? Which one do you think you see better?