As we age, we’re more likely to need help with our vision. That help usually comes in the form of corrective lenses. But the choice between contacts and glasses isn’t always so clear. And before you can pick an option, you need to get a clear diagnosis of your issue.
Go see an expert
There are a lot of ways to find out that your eyesight isn’t quite hacking it on its own anymore. Maybe you failed the eye test when you went to renew your driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Perhaps you just can’t see road signs as good as you used to. Even if you’re not quite sure that you need glasses or contacts, it’s a good eye to get your eyes checked out anyway. Make an appointment with a reputable eye clinic. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be able to move on to the next step.
Maybe you’re nearsighted or farsighted. Maybe your vision is close to perfect in one eye and awful in the other. Either way, an optometrist should be able to take a look, run some tests, and tell you exactly what’s going on with your peepers.
Glasses vs. contacts
So you’ve gotten your prescription, and now you need to decide how to move forward. Your eye doctor may have a recommendation; there are some conditions that make wearing contacts challenging at best (like astigmatism). If your eye doctor says it’s purely up to you, then it’s time to start thinking.
Glasses have been the standard for a long time. They weren’t perfect, but they worked for a lot of people, as contact lenses weren’t a viable option until the twentieth century. Some people think glasses make them look smarter (there are even celebrities who wear frames without any lenses). If you’re looking to project a dignified, even academic, look, glasses may be the way to go. They’re also simpler to use than contacts, as you can just slip them on and go about your business. If you get squeamish at the thought of touching your eye a lot, then contacts probably aren’t the greatest idea. Glasses also don’t have to be replaced as often, which may make them cheaper in the long run.
If you only need vision correction help when you’re reading or looking especially closely at something (like a painting you just bought from 1st Art Gallery), then glasses are probably your best bet. There’s a reason the term is “reading glasses” rather than “reading contacts.”
However, many people choose contacts because they don’t like the way they look or feel in glasses. If you’ve gone all your life without glasses, it can be an adjustment to always have them right there on your face. Contact lenses won’t obstruct your peripheral vision the way that eyeglasses can.
If you exercise a lot, contact lenses are better because you don’t have to worry about them getting in the way while you’re running around the track or basketball court. And you don’t have to worry about contact lenses fogging up when the weather gets chilly or rainy.
Contacts, however, must be cleaned regularly, generally on a daily basis. If you don’t clean them properly, you’re risking a nasty eye infection. And if you’re so tired that you fall asleep without taking out your contacts, your eyes probably won’t look or feel great the next day. People with contacts are also more prone to having issues with dry eyes, which are never fun.
Whichever option you choose, you should notice a difference immediately. Wearing corrective lenses is an adjustment, but it’s better than the alternative.