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Contact Lens vs Glasses

Updated on October 9, 2010

Ah, the eternal, vain question that all of us myopic folks must face at some point in our lifetime: Glasses or Contact lens? What are the pros and cons of each? Which is better? How are contact lens different from glasses?

Let's attempt to answer these questions, from the perspective of someone who has had to deal with both.

Which are better? Contacts or Glasses?

For your health? I don't know. For your looks? Equally, it depends, and I have no idea because it probably depends on your face.

I would venture to say that the question is more along the lines of "Which is Better for what?"

If you're very physically active, you might want to try contacts.

Glasses sometimes make it a little harder to do physically taxing things like rock-climbing, playing basketball, fighting other Alpha males for access to mates, and making out with people. They tend to slip off easily sometimes, unless you have one of those little straps that go around the ear pieces, but nobody wears those because they tend to make you look like a granny.

Contacts, on the other hand, generally won't fall out or slip off unless something in the environment of your actual eyeball changes, like a foreign practical or a sudden gush of moisture. Just about the only ill-advised physical activity when dealing with run-of-the-mill contact lens is swimming underwater without goggles. They tend to fall out if your eyes are flooded with water.

On the other hand, though...

Glasses may fog up sometimes, but contacts can do worse.

When there's a sudden change in the humidity of the air, your glasses may suddenly and temporarily fog up. The same can be true of contact lens, but unfortunately you can't just pull them off and wipe them down like glasses. Also, when they fog up or dry up due to a change in air quality, it can sometimes hurt like the dickens and cause your eyes to water as you blink desperately to get everything in your eyeballs back to normal.

But, on the other, other hand...

If you want to change your eye color, glasses won't do anything for you.

Unless by glasses you mean 3D glasses, and by changing you eye color, you mean to blue and red.

Sometimes oddly-colored eyes can be striking, and if you're wanting to achieve that look, obviously, contacts are the way to go. Just make sure they're prescription ones (even if you don't have a vision problem and just want them for aesthetic purposes) and not those shady one-size-fits-all kinds that you buy over the Internet. Your eyeball has a unique shape among other things, and needs professional attention.

Contact lens thusly can aid in creating an aesthetic effect that you might want in a way that glasses are incapable of achieving.

But on the other, other, OTHER hand...

Some people just don't like sticking their own fingers in their eyeballs.

If you're one of these people, and you don't see yourself being able to get over this, then obviously contacts might freak you out.

The truth is, once they're in your eye, you can't really feel them (if they're fresh enough), but some people have a problem with the whole getting-them-in-there part. I don't know what to tell people when they confess this to me, except that, reasonably speaking, the contacts are harmless and usually there's nothing to be afraid of so long as you wash your hands.

Still, I must admit it's a little creepy poking yourself in the eyeball for the first time.

But on the other, other, OTHER, other hand...

Who cares how annoying it might be to have to learn to put contacts in, when glasses make you look like a nerd/geek/old hag?

This is where the vanity comes in. I'd say this is also something to get over, and something that really depends on *what kind* of glasses you get. If you get something that is congruent with how you want to present yourself, then there usually shouldn't be a problem. Glasses come in all shapes and sizes, after all, many of which are decidedly ungeeky.

But, still, maybe you just feel like you don't look good with glasses no matter what. This can certainly happen, and you might feel compelled to get contacts.

But, on the other, other, OTHER, other, other hand...

Contacts can be expensive.

Just one pair isn't that bad, it's more the accumulation over time, especially if you're dealing with soft lenses. Glasses, while possibly expensive themselves, tend to be more of a one-time investment and you can use them quite a bit and they'll likely never cause any discomfort to your eye from overuse of a single pair.

But soft contacts (the only kind with which I have experience) get "stale" pretty quickly by comparison, and it's typically recommended to cease use of a pair within two weeks to a month, depending on type and brand.

But on the other, other, OTHER, other, other, other hand...

Really, it's up to you, of course. Just make sure it's for the right reasons and that you see an actual optometrist, and not some guy in an alley behind the convenience store.


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