University Optometry Eye Clinic in Palo Alto, California
Do contacts make your vision worse?
You have just visited our eye care clinic for an eye exam in Palo Alto, California and you received a new vision prescription. Now it is time to purchase new eyewear – should you buy eyeglasses or contact lenses? As long as your eyes are healthy, the choice is yours.
Many differences exist between glasses and contact lenses, and people wonder whether one type of eyewear is more effective and more suitable for their lifestyle. To help you make an educated decision, Dennis E. Ratinoff, OD, your optometrist for Palo Alto and the Palo Alto area, has put together this outline of what you need to know about glasses and contact lenses.
Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palo Alto eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.
Features Shared by Glasses & Contacts
First of all, let’s look at the similarities between contacts and eyeglasses:
- Both can precisely treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism to give you sharp vision
- You need to clean them properly to ensure crystal-clear vision; with glasses, this means spraying and wiping the lenses, and with contacts, there are varying degrees of care (depending upon which type you select)
- Both glasses and contacts are affordable
All About Eyeglasses
Nowadays, glasses are made from plastic, making them much lighter than years ago. Also, plastic lenses can be coated with various treatments to protect your eyes, such as against dangerous UV light or to block blue light from digital devices. Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are ideal for children and people who play sports because they do not shatter on impact. Another option for people with very strong prescriptions is high index lenses, which are a thinner and lighter form of vision correction.
There are two primary types of glasses: single vision and multifocal. Single vision eyeglasses correct problems with seeing close or seeing far, while multifocal glasses help with seeing both distance and near-vision issues.
Multifocals come in a few versions:
- Bifocal lenses are bisected into two zones. The upper half helps with seeing distance and the lower half of the lens helps with reading and other close tasks.
- Trifocals have three areas in the lenses. The top is for distance, the bottom is for up close, and the region between the two is for middle vision.
- Progressive lenses are essentially the same as bifocals and trifocals, yet with no dividing line in the lens. The visual transition between the different lens powers is gradual and smooth.
What’s Good About Glasses, and What’s Not
- Eyeglasses are easy to use. You just put them on your face and out you go. There are no specialized cleaning solutions and care is minimal. If you have a particular style or fashion statement you want to make with your glasses, a range of frame designs is available from our optometrist for Palo Alto. Also, if you work in a job that leaves your fingers dirty all the time, you don’t need to touch your eyes when putting on glasses. So the risk of eye infection is very low.
- The main disadvantage of eyeglasses relates to how they look and feel. Many people simply don’t like their appearance in glasses. Also, you also may find them uncomfortable on your nose or pressing above your ears. Another con of glasses is that the lenses can fog up, get splashed in rainy weather, and fall off (or slip down your sweaty nose) during sports. The plastic lenses can also scratch.
All About Contact Lenses
Contacts are thin discs made from either glass or plastic, depending upon whether you have soft or hard (GP) lenses. These discs rest directly on your eye to correct vision. Our Palo Alto contact lenses collection includes a full inventory of single vision, bifocal, and multifocal versions. Soft contact lenses, which are much more popular, come in several types:
- Daily wear lenses: worn during the day; removed and cleaned nightly
- Daily disposables (dailies): worn once and then thrown away
- Extended wear lenses: can be worn overnight; taken out at least once a week for disinfecting
What’s Good About Contacts, and What’s Not
- Contact lenses provide more natural vision than eyeglasses, as well as a more natural appearance that doesn’t block your face. They give a wider field of view and a clear peripheral vision. Because contacts move with your eye, no frame ever gets in your way or disturbs your line of sight. Also, contacts never fog up or get splashed with water droplets when it rains. When playing sports, contact lenses can be ultra-convenient.
- Contacts require higher maintenance than glasses. You must clean and store them properly or you risk getting serious eye infections. If you have high astigmatism, contacts may not be able to provide sharp vision all the time – because you’ll see blurry when they rotate. Toric contacts, which are specialized for astigmatism, have less of a tendency to move around, but they are more costly. You may also need a short adjustment period to adapt to wearing contacts, and more follow-up care from our optometrist for Palo Alto.
That’s the basic rundown of contact lenses versus eyeglasses! Dennis E. Ratinoff, OD provides comprehensive eye exams for Palo Alto and the entire Palo Alto area, and he will issue your accurate, up-to-date prescription for eyewear. Our optical staff will then be pleased to assist you with your decision whether to choose glasses, contact lenses or both!
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