Deciding whether or not to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses feels as big as choosing whether to live in the city or the suburbs. Do contact lenses match your personality more than eyeglasses? Would eyeglasses make you look smarter than you actually are?
While you’re pondering these important questions, the team at Stoggles has the data you need to help you make the most informed decision about your eye care. We’ll start by explaining the most common reasons you’ll shop for contacts and eyeglasses.
Most Common Reasons for Vision Correction
Refractive errors are the most common reason for vision correction, and there are four popular errors that your eye doctor will commonly correct with prescription contact lenses or eyeglasses.
Also known as myopia, this condition is the most common type of refractive error. With nearsightedness, you can see things up close but not far away. This is because the shape of the cornea is too high.
The second most common type of refractive area is farsightedness or hyperopia. Hyperboles can see things far away but not close up. This is because the cornea is flatter than normal.
If you have astigmatism, you experience blurry vision at all distances because the cornea has two different curvatures that refract light in two different directions. This is most notable at night. Someone with astigmatism may see oncoming headlights like stars.
This is the term for plain old age-related vision loss. Every human will eventually experience this if they live long enough. Presbyopia affects the ability to see things up close, which is like farsightedness, but doesn’t necessarily have the hallmark flattened cornea to accompany it. Most frequently, presbyopia appears in people aged forty and older.
After an eye exam, an eye doctor can prescribe you corrective lenses that help you see clearly no matter what your refractive error may be. Then, it’s on you to decide whether you want contact lenses or eyeglasses.
The Case for Contacts
Contact lenses have been around since the 1800s, which is pretty wild considering other advancements (like indoor plumbing and electricity) were eons away. Contacts today are safe, lightweight, and popular. Today, about 45 million Americans choose contacts along with or instead of glasses.
Pros of Contact Lenses
The most obvious advantage of choosing to wear contacts is that you don’t have to wear glasses.
In addition, there are a few other benefits of choosing these little lens covers.
The Style Element
You might think that adding style to your look is more of an eyeglasses benefit, but you would be wrong. Colored contacts can allow you to change your eye color, a stylistic element not offered by any other device or apparatus.
If you find it hard to have eyeglasses strapped to your face all day, contacts may be the better option for you. While some people find contact lenses uncomfortable (they have been known to lead to dry eyes and even, in some cases, eye infections), most people find daily contact use comfortable and forgettable.
Some types of contact lenses are more comfortable than others. Soft contacts, in particular, are the comfiest, with 90% of contact lens wearers choosing this type. However, some people, especially those with astigmatism, are given hard contact lenses, which aren’t as comfy.
It’s a matter of personal preference, but it’s important not to make your decision based on the first time you wear contact lenses. Once you’re an expert at putting them in, you’ll probably find them comfortable and easy to use, especially if you have a higher power. In that case, contacts might be a better alternative.
You Can Wear Any Sunglasses You’d Like
Eyeglasses can be pricey, and prescription sunglasses can really add up. Once you choose a pair, you’re locked into that look until you buy a new pair. Wearing contacts allows you to wear non-prescription sunglasses because your vision correction is sitting comfortably on your eyeballs instead of hanging out in a corrective lens.
They’re Budget Friendly
Because contacts need replacing frequently, they usually have a much lower up-front cost than prescription glasses. Daily disposable contacts, for instance, can be purchased for as little as $40 a month.
If you’re doing the math, you’ll realize the cost adds up over time, but if you don’t have the up-front cash or vision insurance to cover the cost of pricey frames, this is an option that helps you correct your vision problems on a dime.
They Offer Better Vision
Since contacts cover your entire cornea, you won’t have any vision distortions like you might have with regular eyeglasses. When you look out of the corners of your eyes, you’ll be able to see clearly, with no warping or blurriness.
Cons of Contact Lenses
There’s a flip side to every coin (or contact), and we’re here to talk about it. Contacts do come with some disadvantages you should know about before purchasing.
They Can Lead To Eye Health Problems
If you don’t follow the rules of wearing your contacts properly, you could end up with serious eye infections or even dry eye syndrome. The most common contact faux pas that people engage in is wearing their contacts to bed. This increases your risk of infection and can make it impossible for you to wear contacts even if you want to until your eyes heal.
They Can Make Eye Strain Worse
When you are seated in front of a screen, you naturally blink less, which can lead to dry eyes and a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Wearing contacts can make this worse, so it’s important to take breaks from your screen if you’re wearing contact lenses to reduce your risk.
They Aren’t 100% User-Friendly
The first time you attempt to put in contacts may be frustrating, and wearing and removing them will take some getting used to. If you don’t want the hassle, eyeglasses just need to be slipped onto your face.
Despite the risk of being called four-eyes, eyeglasses remain the most popular choice for vision correction among Americans. In fact, the Vision Council reports that more than 166.5 million Americans choose to wear eyeglasses for vision correction. With so many avid eyewear enthusiasts, you’d expect the pros list to be packed with benefits … and it is.
Pros of Eyeglasses
Eyeglasses are easy, and that may be the most popular reason people choose them. Waking up and putting on your specs is easier than brushing your teeth. In addition to being incredibly simple, there are other benefits of choosing eyeglasses.
They’re Long Lasting
Unlike contacts, eyeglasses don’t need replacing as often unless you break them. In fact, most pairs are made to last between one to three years, but anecdotal reports claim that eyeglasses may last up to ten with proper care.
Style Isn’t a Problem
There are thousands of frame options available for eyeglasses. If you’re afraid you won’t like the way you look in a pair of glasses, put that thought out of your mind. You can shop for trendy colors and shapes or styles made for your particular face shape.
The possibilities are endless. And, if you’re looking for an instant signature look, Stoggles are it. Our Co-Founder Max just doesn’t feel like himself without a pair of glasses.
For some, choosing multiple pairs of glasses is like a fashion statement, helping them retain their iconic look and match their eyewear to their outfits.
You Don’t Have To Touch Your Eyes
If the thought of touching your eyeball to insert a contact makes you break out in hives, glasses are the solution.
You might think that’s a stretch, but we disagree. UV protective lenses cover your eye area and protect not only your eyes but the delicate skin that surrounds them. We can love The Beatles' song “Good Day Sunshine” without loving UV rays. Can we do a quick brag? Stoggles would protect the eye and the skin around it, thanks to our side and top shields.
Wearing UV protection can help prevent photodamage to your eyes and your skin and help you avoid the visible signs of premature aging. That’s a benefit practically anyone can appreciate.
More Lens Options
Unlike contacts, you can get more bang for your buck with eyeglasses. From anti-fog lenses to UV protective coatings and polarized lenses, you can fully customize your eyewear.
It’s worth noting that contacts are leveling up their game. Currently, there’s at least one brand of contact lenses that are light-responsive, but they also need replacing every bi-weekly.
Cons of Eyeglasses
Considering getting on the glasses train? Here are a few things to consider before you purchase your ticket:
They Can Be Expensive
Eyeglasses aren’t known for their low cost. In fact, if you decide to purchase a pair offered through your optometrist’s office, you can expect to pay anywhere from $300 and up, depending on the frame style you choose and whether or not it’s a designer brand.
Some specs, like Stoggles, are affordable, though! You can even use your FSA/HSA to purchase prescription Stoggles.
Let’s look at the math: A single vision with anti-fog coatings and Bluelight tech will all come for under $150 — half the price of the $300 mentioned above. The $300 pair won't even include the anti-fog and blue light-blocking features. That would be at least $70 and $50 on top of that $300. In short, it’s a steal for the price while still delivering supreme quality frames and lenses.
They Don’t Cover Your Eyeball
The same reason you might actually choose eyeglasses may also be a reason to avoid them. Unlike contact lenses, eyeglasses don’t cover your entire field of vision. This usually isn’t an issue, but it can interfere with your peripheral vision, making it harder to see when you look to the side.
In addition, you may need progressive lenses (aka bifocals). If so, that means you’ll have to train your eyes to look through certain areas of your eyeglasses, depending on what you are trying to see. For example, you may need to look through the bottom portion of your lenses for reading, the top portion of your lenses for distance, and the middle of your lenses for middle-distance vision.
They Might Not Be Comfortable
While there are numerous different measurements an optician takes to ensure your eyewear fits perfectly, the feel of something sitting on their face may be unbearable for some people.
In addition, wearing glasses full-time may not be something you want to do. If you have an active lifestyle or a job that would make it difficult to keep your glasses on, contacts might be a better option. Of course, lightweight frames (like those made from polycarbonate like Stoggles) are so light that you’ll probably accidentally wear them in the shower.
What if I Need Safety Glasses?
First of all, you do need safety glasses — well, maybe not safety glasses, but some form of protective eyewear — we’ll explain the difference later. Whether you’re behind a computer screen, on a construction site, or painting your bedroom the perfect shade of calming lavender, protecting your eyes is important, and wearing regular eyeglasses won’t keep your eyes safe from splashes, spills, splatters, and debris impact.
The Features You Need
Safety eyewear should come with some essential features, and at Stoggles, we decided to compile the most important safety features into one hybrid style of eyewear that protects and retains style.
Every pair of Stoggles comes with:
- Blue light-blocking lenses. These lenses keep you safe from intrusive blue light from the sun and from devices like your computer, smartphone, and tablet.
- UV-blocking lenses. Stoggles are made from ultra-lightweight polycarbonate material, which is naturally UV-blocking.
- Shatter resistance. Every pair of Stoggles comes standard with ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification to ensure your eyewear can take a hit without breaking into pieces that could damage your eyes.
- Side and top shields. These shields protect the vulnerable areas of your eyes that your regular eyeglasses don’t cover. When these shields cover the surrounding area of the eyes, you’re protected from flying projectiles and UV exposure (less of the latter means potentially fewer wrinkles over time).
- Anti-fog lenses. Fogging safety glasses are an oxymoron. We coat Stoggles lenses with the long-lasting anti-fogging compound so you can forget about removing your eyewear to wipe them.
The best part — Stoggles are available in numerous frames and colors and fully customizable with your corrective vision prescription. Who says you can’t have it all?
The Choice is Yours
The choice between contact lenses and eyeglasses is yours, but the choice to protect your eyes isn’t an option. Play it safe and protect your vision. Stoggles are the solution for protecting your eyes and your style.