Can Contacts Be Harmful to Your Eyes?

Can Contacts Be Harmful to Your Eyes?

Vision correction is a vital part of your eye health, and making sure you check the right type of vision correction is essential in keeping your eyes safe and your lifestyle easy. If you’re considering contacts but have a few concerns, that’s understandable. Not many people warm up to touching their eyeballs without understanding a few of the benefits. 

At Stoggles, we’re team eye safety. As such, we’ll tell you about the benefits and risks of wearing contacts and also how wearing eyeglasses compares. We’ll also explain how to keep your eyes safe whether you decide to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses because (spoiler alert) that’s what we do. 

Ride along as we unpack the info you need to know about contacts, glasses, and safety eyewear.

Eyeglasses vs. Contacts: Which Is Better?

First things first: Your eye doctor is the best person to consult when deciding which type of vision-correcting device is best for you. If you have certain types of refractive errors, you might be limited to eyeglasses even if you’d prefer contacts. Your optometrist (or ophthalmologist) can give you more info at your next eye exam. 

Your age and ability may make contact lens accessibility less accessible. If you aren’t able to easily put in and remove your contacts, wearing glasses may make more sense and make you more comfortable. 

That said, let’s look at the pros and cons of contact lenses.

Benefits of Contact Lenses

It’s probably pretty obvious that one of the biggest reasons why people choose to wear contact lenses is because they’re extremely low profile; in fact, it’s impossible to tell you’re wearing them. If you need vision correction but the thought of donning eyeglasses every day is a solid “no” for you, then contact lenses or vision correction surgery are your other go-to options. Such eye surgeries (like LASIK or PRK) are done by a specialty ophthalmologist.

There are other benefits to wearing contacts, too.

They’re Great for Activities

If you lead an active lifestyle, contact lenses go right along with you. Whether you want to ski, run, or skydive, you can wear your contact lenses and not have to worry about losing them or removing them to put on other protective eyewear, like goggles or sunglasses. 

Quick disclaimer: It’s not recommended to swim while wearing contact lenses. This could put you at risk for eye infections, eye irritation, or dry eyes. In super rare cases, swimming in contact lenses could result in corneal ulcers, which is a yikes.

If blurred vision is a concern on your next triathlon or Cabo vacation, talk to your eye care professional and get prescription swimming goggles. Yeah, they might not look the coolest, but we’ll take that eye problem over a vacation-ending infection any day. 

They’re Cost-Effective

Most eyeglasses aren’t cheap (which we want to do something about). Even if your vision plan includes frames, you’ll likely pay a couple of hundred bucks out the door for frames and lenses. Add in specialized coatings (like blue light blocking and anti-glare), and you can expect to pay even more. 

On the other hand, contact lenses are relatively inexpensive up-front. Although the cost adds up, single-use contact lenses can be purchased for as little as $1.00 per day, which makes them easy for users balling on a budget. 

They’re Disposable

The most popular types of contact lenses are disposable, making it no big deal if you accidentally lose one while popping them in or taking them out. Disposable contacts also reduce the risk you have of developing eye infections or irritation because you’re placing a brand-new pair of contacts in your eyeballs every day. 

They’re Available With Lots of Bells and Whistles

Years ago, it was impossible to get contacts that corrected more than one type of refractive error. Now, contacts can correct multiple vision problems and even have features that were once reserved only for eyeglass wearers. 

Progressive contacts are available from certain manufacturers, allowing you to literally wear your sun protection on your eyes. These contacts adjust when you’re in a bright environment, just like progressive eyeglasses. 

In addition, you can also opt for contact lenses that make your eye color match your outfit. Want blue eyes but were born a brown-eyed girl? Choose blue-tinted contact lenses. We promise: You won’t get busted for catfishing.

They Offer a Wider Field of Vision Correction

Eyeglasses correct your vision, but they may not help you with vision correction in your peripheral vision. Since contact lenses fit over your cornea, they offer complete vision correction that includes your peripheral vision. 

Risks of Wearing Contacts

They’re a great solution, but sometimes the risks of wearing contact lenses outnumber the benefits. Here’s what you should know if you plan to use these eyeball coverlets. 

Eye Infections

Maybe you haven’t had an eye infection since you were a child and don’t remember how insanely uncomfortable they feel. Eye infections, like pink eye, can make you absolutely miserable. Itching, burning, redness, and irritation are hallmark symptoms of virtually all eye infections, and if left untreated, you can also develop discharge and even risk vision loss.

Most of the time, you aren’t subject to eye infections unless you’re putting in dirty contact lenses, sleeping in your contact lenses, or not washing your hands before you put them in or remove them. Even so, wearing contact lenses may cause you to experience an eye infection even if you play by the rules. 

Corneal Ulcers

Your contact lenses sit on the cornea of your eye. As such, they can sometimes cause corneal ulcers. These are sores that form on the cornea. These usually start as eye infections and are sometimes confused with conjunctivitis, but after a few days, they develop into a sore on the surface of the eye. 

Most frequently, contact users who develop corneal ulcers do so because they’re attempting to use homemade contact lens solution that is contaminated with bacteria or because they develop another eye infection and don’t seek treatment immediately. Just because you can drink the tap water where you live does not mean you should put it anywhere near your contacts. 

If you think you have a corneal ulcer, you should get treatment immediately. Complications can lead to corneal scarring, vision loss, and, worst case scenario: permanent eye patch wearing due to loss of your entire eye. 

Dry Eyes

Dry eyes is a condition that can affect you even if you don’t wear contact lenses. However, wearing contact lenses places you at a much higher risk of developing dry eyes due to the limited amount of oxygen gracing your eyeballs. While having a little eye dryness might just seem like a minor inconvenience, it can lead to a long-term eye condition that requires continual use of eye drops and maybe even prescriptions. 

Long-term, dry eyes can lead to eye infections, blurry vision, and problems with wearing your contact lenses safely. Extended wear contact lenses may lead to more problems, simply because it’s easy to forget to properly care for them. Unlike single-use contacts, extended wear options need to be cleaned in solution and properly cared for in airtight containers. 

General Discomfort and Irritation

The first time you wear a pair of contact lenses is likely to not be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life. On top of the fact that they take some finesse to put in, your usual eye care routine doesn’t involve touching your eyeball directly, and it will take time for your eyes to adjust to the sensation of having a device attached to it. 

Soft contact lenses tend to be more comfortable, but not everyone can wear them. Those with astigmatism, nearsightedness/garishness, and more might have to wear hard contact lenses. 

If you insert your contacts and experience discomfort that is noticeable, like watery, itchy eyes, redness, or any type of discharge, take your contacts out and switch to glasses until your eyes heal to avoid eye damage. 

Pros and Cons of Wearing Eyeglasses

Most people who don’t want to wear eyeglasses have legitimate reasons, like activity level, fear of losing or breaking their glasses, or avoiding stigmas associated with wearing corrective lenses. Aside from those reasons, the only real risk of wearing eyeglasses is that they could break and shatter into your eyes, causing an eye-related injury. 

Honestly, that’s about it. Wearing glasses is essentially as safe as wearing a pocket protector. You just aren’t at risk of big issues from eyewear that sits on the bridge of your nose. And if you’re concerned that wearing eyeglasses will cause your vision to worsen, that’s a complete myth. Wearing the wrong prescription can give you headaches and make it uncomfortable to wear your glasses, but they absolutely won’t cause your vision to become worse. 

What About Safety Glasses?

Whether you wear contact lenses or eyeglasses, you’ll need safety eyewear. There’s always an easy way to injure your eyes, even if you find yourself sitting behind a computer screen 9-5. 

Protective eyewear has features that keep your eyes safe from intrusive types of light and radiation and protect them from foreign objects, splashes, and spills. You’d be surprised at the number of times you come into contact with dangerous things that can pose a threat to your eye safety.

That’s why at Stoggles, you’ll find we offer the best safety features on the most stylish specs (and with prescription availability) so you can look good, be comfortable, and stay safe. 

ANSI Z87.1-2020 Certification

Safety eyewear shouldn’t shatter, and at Stoggles we make eyewear that can take a beating. All Stoggles are ANSI Z87.1-2020 certified. The industry standard, this certification means your eyewear has been tested to withstand some super dramatic stuff.

Blue Light Blocking Lenses

Blue light is emitted from the sun and devices like your smartphone, tablet, computer, and LED televisions. Because our exposure to blue light is so pervasive, it’s important to protect our eyes. Blue light can pass through the cornea and reach the retina, and it can even impact your ability to sleep at night. 

Stoggles care about your eyes and your sleepy time, so we inject our eyewear with blue light-blocking filtration so whether you’re outside or inside, your eyes are protected from this light. 


Fogging glasses are dangerous. Removing your eyewear to wipe away fog isn’t safe, and it’s super annoying. All Stoggles come preloaded with a fog-fighting coating so that you don’t have to wipe your glasses for a really, really, really (we mean really) long time. 

Side and Top Shields

The tops and sides of regular eyeglasses can leave your eyes vulnerable to impact. We created Stoggles with top and side shields to keep these areas safe while still maintaining a low-profile appearance. 

If you need prescription safety eyewear, side and top shields might be a better option for you than wraparound styles. Some wraparound styles can warp prescription lenses, giving a funhouse effect when you attempt to look out of the sides of your glasses. 

Safety > Contacts and Glasses

Whether or not you decide to wear contacts or eyeglasses, you’ll want to make sure your eyes are protected, and the best way to do that (and retain your own iconic style) is by donning a pair of Stoggles. 

Available in different shapes and colors (like square, cat eye, and aviator), you’ll be able to fully customize your safety eyewear just like you customize your wardrobe. Keep your style and keep your vision. Stoggles make it easy and effortlessly cool to put safety first.


Contact Lens Risks | FDA

Can wearing contacts harm your vision? | Harvard Health

Do Eyeglasses Weaken My Eyes? | Optometrists Network

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020: Current Standard for Safety Glasses | ANSI

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