CONTACT LENSES – The Advantages versus Disadvantages

Contact lens asics

For all those of you who wear glasses – Have you ever wanted to:

Play sport without sweat pouring down your lenses

Enjoy water activities without water splashing over the lenses

Change the colour of your eyes for a fancy dress party

Get relief from a corneal irritation such as with ingrown eyelashes?

If you said yes to any of the above then Contact Lenses may be the solution for you. Read on to find out more about the pros and cons of wearing contact lenses.  If you still have questions book an appointment with your optometrist to discuss any concerns or to explore the option of contact lenses further.


Wider Field of Vision

Since contact lenses sit directly on your pupil, they conform to the curvature of your eye, providing a wider field of view which means less vision distortions and obstructions than eyeglasses.  This is a significant advantage for sport activities. With glasses, it is restricted by the size of your lenses.

Not Affected By Fog or Rain

Contacts typically aren’t affected by weather conditions and won’t fog up in cold weather like glasses. A big plus for sport activities especially if you play golf on a cold morning! As an extra bonus there is no need to keep wiping away oily / dirty smudges, like glasses.

You Can See While You Swim

Unlike glasses you can swim in contact lenses.  They don’t get in the way when playing sports, exercising, dancing or socialising.

Give You More Fashion Options

Contacts don’t impact on what you are wearing – you always blend in.  You even have the option of taking it to the next level and changing your eye colour if you so desire.  You can also wear sunglasses on top of your contacts so can choose non-prescription designs.  You might like your look without glasses and contacts allows you to see and look the way you want.

Temporarily Correct Myopia(Short-sightedness)

If you really don’t want to wear glasses here is some good news. Some contact lenses can reshape your cornea while you sleep. Overnight orthokeratology (Ortho-k) temporarily corrects myopia so you can see clearly the next day without the need for glasses or contacts.  Furthermore, ortho-K and certain multifocal contract lenses have been shown to reduce the amount of myopia progression which is associated with increased risk of retinal detachment.


Applying Contacts Correctly

Some people have trouble applying a contact lens to their eye (but proper technique and practice should rectify this in most cases).You need good hand-eye coordination to clean, insert, and remove the lenses.  

Care and Cleaning

Contacts require proper lens care and lens case cleaning each day, to avoid potentially serious eye infections. Cleaning and disinfecting your lenses can be complicated and inconvenient. There are options that help with this such as multi-purpose contact lens solutions or better still daily disposable contact lenses avoid the need to clean i.e. contact lenses that are replaced daily, are taking off and minimize risk of infection.

Contacts and Dust Don’t Mix

In some work areas, you will need to use protective eyewear if you wear contact lenses.  Dust is not a friend to contact lenses. There is an increased risk of corneal infections, scratches, and scrapes.

Not Great for Dry Eyes or High Screen Use

Some people cannot wear contact lenses comfortably. This is usually due to an underlying problem like dry eye.  Dry eyes can significantly reduce contact lens wearing times and spending a lot of time on computer screens can increase the drying of your eyes. There are newly designed contact lenses that may overcome some of the dry eye conditions.

Did You Know This About Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses provide predictable vision correction

You can get contacts to meet individual needs in a wide range of lens types

In extreme prescriptions (such as +/- 10 ) contact lenses give better vision than glasses

Contact lenses are more comfortable than glasses for most people

Some contact lenses allow enough oxygen to enter the cornea so that you can sleep in them and are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear.

Photochromatic contacts change colour depending on light levels so even without sunglasses the back of your eye is protected from UV damaging light

So which are better for your particular needs and lifestyle — glasses or contacts?

Only you can decide this with the help of your optometrist – and if you are still unsure why don’t you wear both to suit your changing mood or lifestyle.

By Dr. Arthur Stevens – Optometrist and Director at Kosmac & Clemens Optometrists