Glasses, Contacts, Laser Eye Surgery: Which One Suits My Lifestyle Best?

You may think your glasses or contacts suit your lifestyle, but it’s more likely you’ve adapted your lifestyle to fit around them.

When you decide to use corrective eyewear, you sign an invisible contract that puts certain limitations on what you can and can’t do.

If you’ve lived most of your life under the constraints of one of these contracts, you may not even notice it anymore. Like working a 9-5 job, until you take a sabbatical, have a midlife crisis, or retire, it’s hard to see there’s even any other way to live.

From your hobbies to your career, your temperament to your affinity for travel, eyewear has a significant influence on who you become and how you live. So, even if you’ve never given it much thought before, it’s worth making sure you’ve chosen the right vision correction method for your needs.

Glasses: The Default Option

Glasses have a lot of strong points, and as they’re so easy to use (for most of us) and accessible, they’ve become the default form of vision correction treatment that most of us try first and inevitably stick with.

Unlike contacts and Laser Eye Surgery, they’re also suitable for every age group. From toddlers to your grandma, no one is excluded from being a part of the booming business of spectacles.

What makes them particularly convenient, though, is that they require very little looking after other than a wipe every couple of days. And as they never touch the eyeball itself, they come with very little risk — other than poking yourself in the eye with one of the arms, that is.

If you’ve worn glasses for a while, though, and you like to move once in a while from a sedentary position (who doesn’t?), you’ll have noticed they come with equally as many, and many more, downsides. To name a few, they’re a complete nuisance to carry around with you, can be smudged, scratched, broken, lost and are generally just annoying to wear.

The inconveniences of glasses also mean they’re impractical for everything from jogging and reading to firefighting and instructing ballet. Safe to say, if you want to lead even a slightly active lifestyle, glasses can hold you back or, at the very least, make sure you’re incredibly stressed throughout.

Contacts: An Alternative

Contacts are sold as the active person’s alternative to glasses. And, technically, as they do sit on the surface of your eye, they aren’t affected by the weather as much as glasses and are much harder to lose when playing sports and exercising.

That said, a study published in early 2017 in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery found that “the risk of infection with soft contact lens wear seems to be higher than that after LASIK.”, showing that the overall lifetime risk for a sight-threatening corneal infection is much lower for people who have had LASIK than those who wear contact lenses. 

In addition to this, contact lens wearers may find that when working at a computer screen (which most people are), they experience issues with contacts contribute to dryness and digital eye strain.

All this means contact lenses are useful as a temporary vision aid, but when it comes to long-term use, they tend to be too uncomfortable and risky to be a viable alternative to glasses.

But, even with all their pitfalls, there’s a reason why glasses and contacts are the most popular modes of vision correction today: convenience.

This brings us to the first reason Laser Eye Surgery isn’t for many people: to have it, you need to take time out of your day to research treatments, find the right clinic, and actually have the procedure. Although the treatment itself is extremely quick, the overall process from your initial inquiry to your first aftercare appointment can take up time that many people just don’t have.

On top of that, in the same way many people prefer to pay to rent a house instead of buying it outright, some people are put off by the high upfront cost of owning your vision. Laser Eye Surgery isn’t cheap, but when compared to the lifetime costs of contacts and glasses, just like owning a house, it is much more economical.

Get past these hurdles and, as it is the same as being able to see without glasses or contacts, you’ll be rewarded by the fact that Laser Eye Surgery places no restrictions on your lifestyle. Whether you want to dance, swim, read, work at a computer, or simply be able to see better, you are free to do it all.