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How to Transition from Glasses to Contacts

Posted on June 15th, 2022

When to wear contact lenses—and when to opt for good-old glasses.

If you depend on glasses to see every day, mixing contact lenses into your eyewear repertoire is definitely worthwhile. Wearing prescription glasses is a simple solution for correcting your vision, but in certain circumstances—such as exercising or playing sports—contact lenses are a better, more versatile option. 

Contact lenses can take some time to adjust to, but once you get the hang of them, they are an excellent alternative to glasses. Whether you’re hoping to change-up your everyday look or engage in an intense contact sport, knowing how to easily transition from glasses to contact lenses will certainly come in handy. 

Tips for transitioning from glasses to contact lenses 

If you’re looking to make your first foray into the exciting world of contact lenses, here are some key tips for beginners:

  1. Take it slow: It’s important to ease into contact lenses. Try them for only a few hours per day for about a week, in order to let your eyes acclimate. Remember: contact lenses can take some time to properly settle in your eye, so be patient during the adjustment process. 
  2. Keep clean: Following the sanitation guidelines for contact lenses is critical to prevent infections from popping up. The most important thing to remember is to wash your hands whenever you are handling contact lenses—whether you’re placing them in your eye or removing them. This will prevent germs and debris from clinging to your contacts, and potentially wreaking havoc on your eye health.
  3. Depend on drops: Especially if you’re new to contact lenses, they can feel drying at first. Always keep a bottle of artificial tears on hand.
  4. Stay organized: While some people have the same prescription in both eyes, others have entirely different sight levels. Therefore, it’s important not to mix up your right and left lenses, as doing so could result in eye strain and headaches. Developing a solid routine—such as always putting your right contact lens in first—will help prevent a mix-up.
  5. Wear sunglasses: It’s important to note that contact lenses generally do not protect your eyes from harmful UV-rays, so having a pair of sunglasses on hand is a must.

There’s definitely a time and a place for both glasses and contact lenses, and it’s best to find a balance between the two that fits your individual needs. 

Pros and cons of glasses 

Neither glasses or contacts are perfect, and there are undoubtedly pros and cons associated with both. Choosing which vision-correction product is right for you depends heavily on your lifestyle, comfort level, and overall preference.

Generally speaking, eyeglasses are easier and require very little care. You can simply roll out of bed and conveniently throw them on. Glasses can be swiftly removed if necessary, and wearing frames stops you from touching your eyes—which can cause irritation. Granted that your vision doesn’t change regularly, you likely will not need to replace your glasses often, making them a more cost-effective eye care product.

The downside of glasses, however, is that they can be somewhat cumbersome: they can fog-up, slip off if they’re not fitted properly, and add weight or pressure to your ears and nose. Glasses may also distort your vision, as they do not cover the entirety of your eyeballs when looking at certain angles.

What are contact lenses?

Like glasses, contacts come with positives and negatives, too. Before we dive into the pros and cons, though, it’s important to understand what contact lenses actually are.

Contact lenses are thin rounds of plastic that hover over the eye’s surface to correct vision. There are several types of contact lenses, and they can generally be divided into two overarching categories: hard and soft. 

Naturally, hard contacts are more heavy-duty and long-lasting than their soft counterparts. Although they are more durable and easier to maintain, they are less comfortable. Hard contacts are most often prescribed to patients with certain vision conditions, such as astigmatism

Soft contacts are far more common, and they are generally composed of soft, pliable plastic. Daily contact lenses and reusable contact lenses are the most popular type of contact lenses. 

Pros and cons of contact lenses 

When it comes to contacts, the central pro is clear: they don’t get in your way. Because contact lenses sit on the surface of the eye, they do not interfere with daily activities, and they give you a more fulsome field of vision. 

Unlike glasses contacts typically require a lot more attention, as they have to be cleaned, stored, and handled properly if they are reusable. For that reason, contact lenses carry more risks, including serious eye infections when not properly handled. It can also take time to get used to contact lenses, and many people struggle to adjust to applying and removing them from their eyes.

Not to mention, contacts are usually more costly than prescription glasses, though the price depends on various factors, including the type of lenses you choose. It’s always worth taking advantage of enticing offers, such as FYidoctor’s ACUVUE® Contact Lenses in-store sale. For a limited time, you can get $30 to $70 off ACUVUE® lenses, and you can save even more with mail-in rebates.

When to opt for contact lenses instead of glasses

As mentioned above, deciding whether to go for glasses or contact lenses will depend heavily on your lifestyle and personal needs. For instance, if you suffer from dry or sensitive eyes, glasses should be your primary vision correcting product, as they—unlike contact lenses—do not come with the risk of exacerbating irritation. 

That being said, there are general instances in which a person should pick glasses over contacts—and vice versa. For one, glasses are preferable for plane rides, particularly during long, overnight flights that you might fall asleep on. Planes are filled with recycled air, which could cause your contact lenses to dry out faster than normal, leading to irritation.

On the other hand, contact lenses are preferred for exercising and playing sports, and they can also be ideal for special occasions, when you don’t want your everyday frames to distract from an elevated outfit.

Whether you choose to exclusively wear glasses or contacts or a combination of both, it’s important to ensure your prescription is always up-to-date to avoid eyestrain. Book an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam today at an FYidoctors clinic near you!