Should you get glasses, contacts, or both?

Glasses and Contact Lenses are different types of eyewear that are prescribed by a doctor. A person who has vision problems including the popular diagnosis of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can use either one of these to help correct his or her vision. Choosing between the two depends on a person’s point of view and comfort. Glasses are frames that have lenses and are worn in front of the eyes in order to help correct a person’s vision. Contacts are lenses that are placed directly on the cornea of eyes.

The first eyeglass was developed in Italy in 1286 A.D. by Dominican friar Giordano da Pisa. However, the earliest forms of using glass for magnification purposes dates back to the ancient Egyptian times of the 5th century B.C. Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with the idea of the contacts in 1508. However, the first successful contacts were developed by a German ophthalmologist known as Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick in 1887.

You can purchase either from an optometrist, ophthalmologist, optical wear shops, or from online specialty shops. However, it is not recommended that you purchase glasses online as you will have a return hassle if the frame needs to be replaced for any reason. Beyond that, the price for glasses varies greatly depending on your prescription and the types of frames you choose. The price for the number of times one has to maintain, dispose, and purchase contacts is generally higher than buying several pairs of glasses. When it comes to effectiveness in correcting eye defects, studies show that contacts are better than glasses.

If you choose to purchase both, you need to be aware that the powers specified on your contact lens prescription may be significantly different than those on your glasses prescription depending on the degree of your refractive error and the type of contacts prescribed. In addition, a contact lens prescription contains additional specifications that are not included on a glasses prescription and can be determined only after a comprehensive contact lens exam and fitting.

You can ask for a copy of both your glasses and contact lens prescriptions as it is illegal for your doctor to withhold them from you. However, while you can request a copy of your glasses prescription at the conclusion of your comprehensive eye exam, you cannot receive your contact lens prescription until he or she performs a contact lens fitting and/or has access to your previous prescription and has evaluated the fit of your current lenses.

Be aware that not everyone who needs and wears eyeglasses can wear contact lenses. There are several conditions, including dry eyes or blepharitis that can make contact lens wearing uncomfortable or unsafe and even if you do not have any pre-existing eye conditions, some people have sensitive corneas and simply cannot adapt to wearing contact lenses. Additionally, even if you wear lenses simply to change your appearance, and not for medical purposes, they are considered medical devices and cannot legally be obtained without a prescription.