I have to admit that during these Coronavirus times, I’m almost exclusively wearing glasses. And it’s not just me, I’ve heard people worry that their contact lenses are going to expire before they get a chance to wear them since they’re working from home and wearing glasses is just easier and cheaper.
Eyeglasses are easier to use, just like it’s easier to not shower, shave, or put pants on for a Zoom meeting. And the marginal cost of putting them on is free. By contrast, my contact lenses cost me over two dollars a day. Contacts still have a role in my rotation, but with the Coronavirus around, that role is increasingly rare.
Wearing eyeglasses is just simple and you can nap with them on if you forget to take them off. This is one problem that I always have with contact lenses, I might put in a couple of hours of work and then it’s time for a nap. First of all, you know that you shouldn’t sleep with contact lenses, but are you really going to take them out and put them back in after a nap? Most people seem to just sleep with them on, which is not great. Also, before I can nap or sleep, I often lay in bed spending a fair amount of time on my phone. I like to take my glasses off when I spend so much time on the phone and that’s easy, I take them off and place them on the empty pillow next to mine until I am finished using the app on the phone and have awoken from my asleep.
By contrast, these same tasks are a pain when using contact lenses. First, I have to decide whether I’m going to throw them away or if I’m going to place them in solution for later, which is never advised for daily contacts. Even thinking about this doesn’t mean that it always happens and there’s still a chance that I’ll fall asleep in them anyways. My options are to waste good contact lenses by wearing them for fewer than two hours before throwing them away, saving them for a later time that never comes and I end up throwing away the solution and the contact lenses some days later, or I sleep in them and I wake up with really dry eyes to the point where I might then just take them out and throw them away anyway.
I’m sure that I’m looking at my experience too narrowly these days and focusing on my routine during frequent Covid lockdowns, but generally speaking, I like to wear glasses when I have little to worry about and I can be comfortable or when the alternative would require me to wear contacts for a long time. For example, if I’m going on a road trip, I’ll wear glasses. Similarly, if I’m taking a long flight over the Pacific Ocean, I’ll be sure to take my contact lenses out and wear glasses. I’ll generally wear my contacts when I need to be “on” so to speak. This could be when I’m working and interacting with others or when I’m playing sports. Sometimes, I’ll get paranoid when I’m going out and if I think there’s a chance of being attacked or getting in a fight, I’ll also plan to wear contacts. I grew up with the saying, “You wouldn’t hit someone with glasses, would you?” But they would.
We also know that we shouldn’t wear contact lenses when we go swimming just in case we get some dirty water stuck between a contact lens and our eye, so I almost always wear glasses when I go to the beach. I don’t wear them when I go into the water, but then I feel like I have to keep looking back at my stuff to make sure that no one is stealing my glasses – and without glasses, it’s pretty hard to see.
Other reasons to wear glasses are to create a particular look, complement your outfit, make a bold statement, or match your mood. With all the customizations I’ve done to my glasses, I can use them as sunglasses when I’m outside, I can clip-on a yellow tint for night driving, or I can use them to watch 3D movies. I can’t really do that with contact lenses. And with the affordability of eyeglasses these days, I have a few pairs laying around so that I can change up my look anytime I get the feeling, or more likely, I’ll just have more around so that I’m never at a loss of finding a pair because I literally cannot find them.
The pair of glasses that I’m wearing right now also blocks blue light in order to keep your eyes and brain from feeling fatigued due to too much screen viewing. I’ve heard that contact lenses can do this, but mine don’t.
What do you think? When do you prefer to wear glasses and when do you prefer to wear contact lenses? Has anything changed between Covid times and non-Covid times? How about other situations? Like when you’re at the beach, at a park, on a long drive, or taking a test?