Glasses or lenses – what to choose? Dealing with an ophthalmologist

Lenses have long become an alternative to glasses, which many people suffering from vision problems had to give up – glasses do not go well with an active lifestyle, and not everyone wants to look “bespectacled”. And, it seems, contact lenses are the perfect modern solution to the problem.

What to choose – glasses or lenses? Dealing with an ophthalmologist.

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The content of the article:

Read: How to choose the right contact lenses.

Glasses for vision – what are the pros and cons

The choice of glasses, of course, should only be done with the help of an ophthalmologist. It is strongly not recommended to wear glasses of mothers, grandmothers, or buy ready-made glasses – in this case, you risk, at least, aggravate the problem of poor vision. So, what are the pros and cons of wearing glasses?

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Benefits of glasses

  • Change of image.
  • Lack of direct eye contact.
  • No need for thorough regular care.
  • A simple and effective method of vision correction.

Disadvantages of glasses

  • The need to constantly carry them with you or on yourself.
  • Side effects with the wrong choice of glasses, up to fainting.
  • Distorted vision when wearing them.
  • Limitation of lateral vision due to the arches.
  • The risk of breaking, losing points at the moment when they are most needed.
  • Appearance changes.
  • Reflection of light.
  • Fogging at temperature extremes.
  • Problem with buying glasses when the difference in vision of the eyes is higher than 2.0 D.
  • High cost, subject to high-quality and beautiful frames.

Contact lenses – advantages and disadvantages

Lenses were invented, first of all, for those who care about the aesthetic side of the issue. That is, vision correction that does not affect the appearance. It goes without saying that this modern product has its pros and cons.

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The benefits of contact lenses

  • Natural vision correction is the movement of the lens following the movement of your pupil.
  • No distortion of vision – no reduction in vision, resizing, etc.
  • Comfortable to wear.
  • The opportunity to go in for active sports.
  • No dependence on weather conditions – rain does not interfere with lenses.
  • Aesthetics. The opportunity not only to refuse glasses that do not suit you at all, but to “correct” the color of the eyes, thanks to colored lenses.
  • Better medical compliance with visual impairments. That is, the possibility of wearing them with a difference in vision of more than 2.0 D, etc.

Disadvantages of contact lenses

  • It is not recommended to take a shower (bath) in them. Limescale in running hard water is an ideal environment for germs, so it is best to avoid getting tap water onto the lens surface.
  • The risk of damage to the upper layer of the cornea up to loss of vision.
  • The development of inflammatory processes and erosions, the risk of infection on their background – with constant wearing (for example, during working hours, throughout the week).
  • Not recommended for children under 12 years of age.
  • Risk of allergic reaction from lens solution.
  • Reduced free air access to the eyes.
  • Not recommended for chemical and dusty atmospheres.
  • Harder to care for and use than glasses.
  • High cost in comparison with glasses (more practical – laser vision correction).

When contact lenses should not be worn – contraindications

In the list of contraindications for wearing lenses – practically all eye diseases that involve the conjunctiva and cornea.

  • Inflammatory diseases of the cornea / conjunctiva / eyelids.
  • Blepharitis
  • Inflammation of the cornea.
  • Conjunctivitis.
  • Ptosis.
  • Low sensitivity of the cornea.
  • Xerophthalmia.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Asthma.
  • Lens subluxation.
  • Inflammations, infections, allergic processes of the eyes.
  • Dacryocyst.
  • Strabismus at an angle over 15 degrees.
  • Hay fever.
  • Decreased / increased lacrimation.
  • Certain professional activities.
  • Chronical bronchitis.
  • Tuberculosis and AIDS.
  • Rhinitis.

It should be remembered that for any colds / viral diseases and inflammatory processes of the eyes, wearing lenses is strictly prohibited. For this period, it is better to use glasses.

Medicines that are prohibited from wearing lenses (at the time of admission):

  • Preparations for motion sickness.
  • Diuretics.
  • Medicines for the common cold.
  • Antihistamines.

Contact lenses can also cause allergies when taking oral contraceptives.

Who Should Choose Contact Lenses Over Glasses?

Glasses or lenses - what to choose?  Dealing with an ophthalmologist
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Lenses are usually prescribed for medicinal purposes, or for specific indications related to the professional, cosmetic or medical field.

For example, among drivers, correction with soft contact lenses is gaining more and more popularity, which is not surprising. They are comfortable, hygienic, do not interfere with movement and do not limit the visual field. For drivers, correct vision correction is directly related to safety. Modern soft contact lenses PureVision2 HD provide high clarity of vision, absence of glare and ghosting, especially in the dark, as well as excellent oxygen access to the cornea of ​​the eye.

When are contact lenses recommended?

  • To correct vision, if it is impossible, with the help of glasses.
  • With astigmatism.
  • With lazy eye syndrome.
  • With anisometropia.
  • With moderate / high myopia combined with astigmatism.
  • With keratoconus.
  • After cataract removal with monocular aphakia.

For children, indications for wearing lenses include:

  • Afakia.
  • Strabismus.
  • Lack of effect from spectacle correction.
  • Amblyopia.

Lenses are prescribed instead of glasses and for a certain type of activity:

  • Sport.
  • The medicine.
  • Building.

In comparison with glasses, lenses provide a more complete vision correction, which, of course, is of great importance when driving a car, etc.

Also lenses are used and to hide existing eye defects (after injury or congenital):

  • Albinism.
  • Scars / scars or thorns.
  • Multi-colored iris.

Comments from expert doctors

Ophthalmologist, pediatric ophthalmologist, contactologist, orthokeratologist Galina Vykhodtseva

Glasses or lenses - what to choose?  Dealing with an ophthalmologist

With a decrease in vision, it is very important to choose how to correct vision.

There is one general rule of thumb for glasses and contact lenses: a person with glasses can have lenses, and a person must have glasses in lenses. Lenses are a great alternative to glasses, but they are hassle and expensive to wear. And there are situations in which lenses cannot be worn, so glasses must also be.

Pros of glasses:

  • put on quickly, take off quickly;
  • minimal maintenance – keep the glasses clean, wipe them if dirty;
  • compared to lenses, glasses are usually cheaper.

Cons of glasses:

  • the frame of the glasses limits peripheral vision;
  • the higher the diopter in the glasses, the greater the optical distortion (“minus” glasses reduce objects, “plus” glasses increase, and the eyes behind the glasses are also distorted, which may not please the wearer of the glasses);
  • glasses interfere with an active lifestyle, when playing sports, can be the reason for professional unsuitability;
  • in the cold season, glasses fog up if you enter a warm room. Therefore, millions of people around the world choose for themselves vision correction with contact lenses.

Pros of contact lenses:

  • no optical distortion, no limitation of peripheral vision. Vision in contact lenses is as close as possible to natural vision, such as in people without visual impairment;
  • in the lenses it is convenient to play sports and lead an active lifestyle;
  • in cold weather, the lenses do not fog up like glasses, because they always have body temperature;
  • at high diopters, vision with lenses is better than with glasses. The difference can be several lines of the check table;

Cons of contact lenses:

  • lenses require discipline and proper care. Lenses should be put on and removed only with clean hands in a clean place, changed on time and only fresh solutions and care products should be used;
  • when wearing lenses, you need to visit a vision correction specialist more often than when wearing glasses;
  • wearing lenses is usually more expensive than wearing glasses.

Doctor, medical expert Regina Shaydullina

Glasses or lenses - what to choose?  Dealing with an ophthalmologist

Both glasses and contact lenses, when properly and individually fitted, are proven to be effective optical methods of vision correction. The choice of one method or another is determined by the personal preferences of the patient who needs correction, his lifestyle, the presence of features of habitual activity.

Glasses are an essential item for a patient with myopia or hyperopia, even if they wear lenses. They are easy to use, unpretentious in maintenance, and indispensable in emergency situations when lenses are not comfortable or contraindicated. For example, it is better to give up contact lenses if you have a tendency to recurrent eye infections (conjunctivitis, keratitis, iridocyclitis).

Wearing contact lenses, especially with inaccuracies in hand hygiene and in the storage of lenses and solutions, will significantly increase the risk of re-infection of the eyes. For the same reason, lenses should not be worn during ARVI: this can lead to the development of viral, and subsequently bacterial conjunctivitis, which can cause serious consequences. Moreover, lenses will not be the method of choice for patients with a history of allergy: severe allergies with profuse lacrimation or, conversely, dry eyes that are difficult to treat will only complicate the life of a person wearing contact lenses.

In general, it is up to you and the ophthalmologist to decide whether to wear glasses or wear lenses. Whichever you choose, personal selection, careful care and regular eye examinations are important.

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