Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses

Contact Lenses vs. Eyeglasses

It’s Time To Get Your Vision Back To 20/20

Many people who wear eyeglasses or contacts share similar experiences regarding how they came to realize their vision was not quite 20/20. From missed turns and blurry equations on the classroom whiteboard to the gradual merging of individual tree leaves into one arboreal blob, losing clarity of vision can be a disappointing health change. If you’re newly in need of vision correction or are considering switching from your current method, Rochester Optical is here to walk you through every factor to consider when choosing between contact lenses and eyeglasses. For more personalized guidance and attention, schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Rochester Optical today!Image of a road in a forest with the left side blurry and the right side clear. Text over the left side reads "Don't live life in a blur". Text over the right side reads "schedule an eye exam".

What Are Prescription Eyeglasses?

Eyeglasses are a vision correction device consisting of a frame and two lenses made of either glass or plastic. The lenses are formed in order to correct nearsightedness (trouble seeing far away), farsightedness (trouble seeing close up), and astigmatism (vision blurring caused by an irregularly shaped cornea). The type of vision correction you require will determine the lens type in your glasses frames. In respect to the list of vision issues above, the corresponding corrective lens type would be concave, convex, and cylindrical.

What Are Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are a corrective lens worn directly on the eye. They come in hard and soft materials, with soft materials becoming the more common choice due to enhanced comfort and ease of insertion. Contacts can correct for the same vision issues listed above, and are available in daily, weekly, and monthly varieties, in terms of the duration of wear per pair.

Choosing Between Eyeglasses and Contacts For Vision Correction

There are numerous factors that should be considered when choosing between these two vision correction options. They include lifestyle, cost, convenience, eye conditions and comfort, and personal style and preference. The team at Rochester Optical can help you choose which option is best for you, and then help you be fitted for either eyeglasses or contacts. Be sure to schedule an appointment when you’re ready to achieve clear, comfortable vision!


Your lifestyle will play an important role in deciding between eyeglasses and contact lenses. Consider your typical day, from your morning and nightly routines to everything in between. If you are a get-up-and-go type of person who prefers a quick personal care regimen, you may find that contact lenses require too much effort to insert, clean, store, and manage. Improper handling and storage of contact lenses can lead to eye irritation and even infection. Daily contacts are a great option that requires less maintenance than weekly or monthly varieties, but they will still need to be ordered regularly. We recommend setting a reminder two weeks before you’ll run out, to ensure you have enough time to order and wait for shipping.

Glasses are perhaps more convenient in this respect, as you will only need to replace them if they break or your prescription changes. They also don’t require much maintenance aside from a quick cleaning with a glasses cloth and some spray, and perhaps an adjustment or two as they loosen with wear. With eyeglasses, you can simply slip them on in the morning without adding more than a second to your routine.

If you enjoy being active throughout the week, glasses may prove to be a bit of a hassle. The frames can block peripheral vision, especially if they are thick. This can make it challenging to participate in many sports, as you may have more difficulty being aware of your surroundings. Glasses can also move around during medium- and high-intensity activities, making them more likely to slip off and break. In some low-intensity activities like yoga, glasses may prove to be annoying in poses in which the head is not upright. Contacts can be a great option in this case, as they will not block your view or fall out under normal conditions.

If you find that your lifestyle does not fully accommodate either eyeglasses or contact lenses, you could always choose both! Using glasses as your regular form of vision correction and switching to daily contacts as needed (such as for a weekly sports activity or occasional adventuring) can be a great option to experience the best of both worlds. Alternatively, you could keep a pair of “backup” glasses to ensure that you can still see clearly when contacts are not a suitable option.


In general, prescription eyeglasses are more affordable than contact lenses. The upfront cost of eyeglasses will depend on the frame brand, material, and the lens type and add-ons, but it is still only a one-time cost. Contact lenses must be reordered as long as you plan to wear them, and their price depends on the wear type (daily, weekly, or monthly), brand, and whether they must correct for astigmatism.

If your vision changes frequently, glasses may still be the most cost-effective option, as you can simply replace the lenses rather than the entire pair. Ordering contacts in large quantities tends to lower the price, but you’ll lose that benefit if you find yourself with a new prescription and boxes of useless lenses. One cost-saving benefit of contacts is that you can wear them with non-prescription sunglasses. Protecting your eyes from UV rays is important, regardless of your vision correction needs. An alternative to prescription sunglasses for glasses wearers is clip-on or magnetic sunglasses that attach to your frames and don’t require an additional prescription.

You could certainly spend nearly as much as you wanted to on eyeglasses with the availability of luxury designer brands. However, you can easily find affordable options at many retailers, including Rochester Optical! We offer a variety of designer and locally made frames right in our store. Visit our retail page to learn more!


When it comes to the convenience level of eyeglasses and contact lenses, it often comes down to the lifestyle factors we mentioned at the beginning of this page. If you’d rather not spend the time required to maintain contact lenses properly, glasses may be the better choice for you. Daily contacts are a great option, too, but they will be the most costly form of contact lenses.

If you are deciding on a vision correction option for a family member, such as a child, teenager, or senior loved one, be sure they are aware of and dedicated to following through with proper contact lens wear and care. Habits such as overwearing, sleeping in contacts, or handling lenses without washed hands can lead to eye irritation and infections. Eyeglasses can be a better option in these cases.

Eye Conditions and Comfort

Eyeglasses and contact lenses can both be comfortable options. Some people find that contact lenses are bothersome across the board, while others simply haven’t found the right pair. A high-moisture contact lens can prove to be more comfortable for individuals who experience general irritation with contacts. If you have dry eyes, contacts may exacerbate the issue. Contact lenses may also not be ideal if you spend a lot of time on the computer, as they do not have any blue-light-blocking features.

Eyeglasses do not make direct contact with the eyes, so eye irritation is not an issue. However, it’s important to consider the fit and material of glasses frames to ensure they do not put too much pressure behind the ears or on the sides of the nose bridge. Choosing frames made from lightweight material and receiving a proper fitting can help prevent these undesirable effects. Eyeglasses are also a great option for anyone with dry eyes or other eye conditions that may not allow for the insertion of contact lenses.

Personal Style and Preference

While the health and comfort of your eyes should take priority, choosing between eyeglasses and contact lenses based on how they affect your appearance is a valid consideration when health and comfort are equally satisfied. Some people may feel that they look better in glasses, while others may prefer a spectacle-free face. If you’d like to wear glasses but are having trouble finding a pair to suit you, visit our friendly opticians at Rochester Optical! Our team can help you find the perfect frames for your face shape and style.

Speaking of style, glasses frames are a fun way to express yourself! When you find frames that complement your appearance and show off your style, you may actually begin to consider your glasses to be part of your personal look, rather than an add-on. However, we understand that not everyone feels confident in glasses. If you prefer contacts, schedule an appointment at Rochester Optical to explore your options!

Ready to Choose or Need More Help Deciding Between Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses?

Whether you’ve made a decision or would like more information, our optical team is here to help you navigate the process! Schedule an appointment with us today to experience clear, comfortable vision through glasses or contacts. See you soon!