The choice: glasses versus contacts

Have fun choosing between frames and contact lenses and make the most out of your battle for great vision. A person can always invest in a combination and enjoy the best of both worlds.

See clearly

Our sight is one of our most valuable senses, so it’s wise to have your eyes tested regularly to check eye health and maintain your best possible vision.

Generally, Australian optometrists recommend people have their eyes tested every two years.

“It is important to have the health of your eyes checked regularly as there are many eye conditions that are asymptomatic — that people are unaware of,” says Brisbane-based optometrist Amy McMahon.

Aside from permanent measures such as laser eye surgery, correcting your vision will come down to a choice between specs and contacts.

The glasses are half full

Glasses are easy to wear, convenient, and, if you choose wisely, can be as comfy as your pair of Sunday slippers.

McMahon says one of the greatest advantages in wearing specs is there are no health risks.

“Unlike contacts, glasses pose no risk of infection to the eyes,” she says.

The fun part? Frames can be an exciting addition to your fashion wardrobe, freshen up your overall look, and provide the chance to express your individuality.

Chosen with discernment, they can also enhance your appearance —  and possibly even your pulling-power!

Close contact

McMahon says contact lenses offer the advantage of not restricting your peripheral vision. Plus there’s less chance of taking them off and losing them by placing them on the kitchen bench or beside the bathtub or some other ‘easy to remember’ place.

For practicality, contacts are also the better option for use during sport and physical activity.

“You don’t have to deal with glasses fogging up and generally contacts are safer if you’re doing contact sports,” says McMahon.

Take off your blinkers

According to McMahon, there are downsides on both sides of the debate that comes with glasses and contacts: frames don’t offer wearers that enviable full peripheral vision coverage and contacts pose the risk of infection.

McMahon explains that contact lens users can experience nasties such as corneal ulcers, conjunctivitis and what she describes as a “contact lens overwear syndrome” or CLARE: Contact Lens Associated Red Eye. Allergies to cleaning solutions can develop, while long-term use can also be associated with irreversible corneal damage.

As a result, contact lens use is trending towards daily disposable lenses, instead of the more traditional monthly disposable.

“Daily disposable lenses are convenient, they reduce the rate of infection and you don’t have the associated problems with the cleaning solutions,” McMahon says.

Case closed

Choose the option or the combination that best suits your eyes, your appearance and your lifestyle. When considering price, there is a plethora of budget spec providers on the Aussie market, but if you’re willing to go all out, your chariot of a sparkling pair (or two) of bejewelled Bvlgaris and accompanying blue-lensed contacts awaits.

“Your local optometrist or eyewear provider will be able to guide you through all of the options available for your situation and needs,” McMahon says.