What is best for teenagers, contact lenses or glasses?
Glasses or contact lenses: Which is better for your teen?
Deciding whether glasses or contacts will be better for your teenager depends on their commitment to caring for their eyewear, their extracurricular activities and their personal sense of fashion and style.
This article explores the pros and cons of glasses and contacts to help you and your son or daughter determine which is the better option:
Glasses or contacts: Which is easier to care for?
All contact lens wearers, regardless of age, must commit to cleaning and storing their lenses properly, as well as wearing them exactly as directed by their eye doctor. Eyeglasses also must be cared for, but the maintenance isn't as involved.
With contact lenses, there is more of a risk for eye diseases because you touch your eyes when putting in and taking out your lenses. Also, handling or storing contact lenses improperly (or wearing them for longer than directed can lead to eye infections.
Glasses require less day-to-day care than contact lenses, as far as cleaning and handling. You should wash your glasses regularly and always be careful wearing them to avoid scratching the lenses or breaking the frames.
TIP: A backup pair of glasses kept in a school locker or with the school nurse is a good idea. Your teen might lose a contact lens or break his or her glasses during the school day.
Contact vs. glasses: Which is the better choice for sports
Many teens play sports and having clear vision plays a crucial role in athletic performance whether your child is competing in playoff games or playing volleyball in the gym.
Contact lenses get the win for sports, because they provide full peripheral vision and they don’t get in the way. Also, unlike eyeglasses, contact lenses don’t fog up, fly off, break or get dirty as easily.
Contacts also are a better choice if your teen participates in extracurricular activities like dance and theater. Contacts don’t get in the way of choreography and don’t take away from characters’ looks.
TIP: If your teen prefers eyeglasses, sports glasses are a great option. Sports glasses are specially made to protect your teen's eyes while on the field or court. Some sports glasses also include tints and coatings to reduce glare outdoors to improve vision and athletic performance.
SEE RELATED: Contact lenses: Are they right for your teen?
Glasses or contacts? Which is more stylish?
When it comes to fashion and style, glasses have the edge over contact lenses.
Sure, with color contact lenses your teen can get those blue or green eyes she or he always wanted, but basic contacts do not add style to a look. And now with photochromic contact lenses, your teen will be better able to adjust to bright light when going from indoors to outside.
Eyeglasses, on the other hand, can be very fashionable. There are many styles of frames to choose from, including cat eye, wayfarers, aviators and more. Frames in so many colors and sizes will let let your teen show his or her personal style.
TIP: Glasses also may make your teen look smarter, research suggests, and that could be an advantage when it comes to interviewing with college recruiters and other professionals during their senior year of high school.
Glasses or contacts? Time for your teen to decide
Teenagers live an active lifestyle. Whether they prefer eyeglasses or contact lenses, there are lenses in both categories that will complement their everyday activities and enhance their vision.
STILL HAVING TROUBLE MAKING A DECISION? Find an eye doctor near you to help you and your teen to determine whether glasses or contacts are better option to correct your child's vision.
Page published in April 2020
Page updated in March 2022