Can I Wear Contact Lenses and Eyeglasses — or Do I Have to Choose One or the Other?

Can I Wear Contact Lenses and Eyeglasses — or Do I Have to Choose One or the Other?

It’s time to choose between contacts and glasses. Do you need both? It’s a possibility that many need to consider. A visit to the team at Accent Vision Specialists in Santa Fe, New Mexico, can help you decide on the best options for your individual needs.

The history of corrective lenses

Eyeglasses were the only type of corrective lenses available for centuries, though the history of contact lenses surprises some, dating back to the 1880s

While contemporary contacts didn’t come into widespread use until the 1950s and 60s, contact wearers have always had at least one set of eyeglasses for times when they remove their contacts, such as overnight or when their eyes are irritated. 

Certainly, that means there are moments when someone puts on glasses, forgetting that their contacts are still in place. Doubling up on their corrective lenses is probably not going to give them the vision they’re expecting. 

However, there are certain eye conditions that can actually benefit from a combination of contacts and glasses worn simultaneously, including the common vision changes caused by presbyopia, typically related to simply getting older. 

Why both lenses can help

Sometimes vision issues are complex. There’s not a single type of refractive error and so a single corrective lens prescription won’t give you clear vision under all circumstances. 

Presbyopia typically causes long-arm readers. As you get older, the comfort zone for close-up reading moves away from you to the point where your arms are no longer long enough to bring printed words into focus. 

While that’s easy enough to compensate for with reading glasses, you may already have distance vision issues. Wearing contacts to correct your distance vision and using eyeglasses for close-up tasks may be the right answer for you to avoid the need to switch between near and far lenses. 

Alternating lenses

Even if you have a single refractive error, you may be more comfortable wearing contacts in some situations and glasses for others. 

A factory worker, for example, may prefer to wear prescription safety glasses at work to protect their eyes, since they may be more prone to eye irritation while wearing contacts when exposed to work conditions, and they’d still need safety glasses for eye protection. 

Once they come home, contacts could be their choice for convenience and comfort. The same dual-use conditions could arise because of sports participation, where either glasses or contacts provide greater comfort during your favorite activities. 

Cosmetic considerations

Glasses, or the lack of them if you’re a long-time wearer, can be a fashion statement, particularly in this era of “geek chic.” Colored contact lenses also give you aesthetic options to alter your appearance. If you need lenses anyway, why not have some fun with them, if that’s your style. 

No matter what your taste or visual need, an appointment with our optometric physicians can help you identify and treat refractive issues with your eyes. Book an appointment today by calling Accent Vision Specialists at 505-984-8989 to discover the right answers for your vision. 

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