Blog Hero

Are Glasses or Contacts Better for Myopia?

Book an Appointment
Female university student wearing glasses while standing outside.

Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are two correction methods for myopia, but neither is really better than the other. Rather, each has its advantages and disadvantages.

For example, contact lenses could make a good option for someone with a job requiring safety eyewear. Alternatively, eyeglasses will likely be the better choice for someone with chronically dry eyes.

Myopia control is one potential situation we’ll discuss below where contact lenses could be more beneficial than eyeglasses. And we’ll look at an alternative correction method for myopia that can be permanent. 

What Is Myopia?

Myopia is a common refractive error that affects nearly 10 million American adults. It’s commonly referred to as nearsightedness because distant objects are blurry, but close-up objects remain clear.

Typically myopia develops during childhood and adolescence before stabilizing in the mid-20s. During this development, myopia can turn into high myopia. This is essentially a severe form of the refractive error that increases the individual’s risk of conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, or retinal detachment

Myopia Control for Children

The increased risk of serious conditions is one of the major reasons that myopia control or management has become a focus for many eye doctors. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for myopia control. Some common methods include:

  • Atropine eye drops: Atropine eye drops are likely the same drops your eye doctor uses during a dilated eye exam. But studies also show that a low-dose atropine eye drop can help slow or stop the progression of myopia in children. This is considered by many to be the most effective form of myopia control.
  • Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT): At Bettner Vision, we use Paragon CRT lenses that are approved for children and adults. These specialty lenses gently reshape the cornea to prevent the need for correction during the day. They can also prevent the condition from worsening in children and youth.
  • Contact lenses: Studies done on soft bifocal contact lenses show they can slow myopia progression by over half in some cases.

Correcting Myopia

Control becomes less applicable by the time a young adult’s eyes finish developing. But some methods, like certain contact lenses, remain applicable as a corrective option. 

Young woman holding a contact lens on her pointer figer.

Glasses vs. Contact Lenses

Eyeglasses are one of the most popular correction methods for refractive errors. Many lenses can be customized to nearly any prescription. Additionally, coatings or treatments can be added to the lenses to provide extra benefits, such as a blue light filter or UV protection.

But eyeglasses aren’t for everyone. For example, suppose a person’s job or hobbies requires safety eye protection or they spend a lot of time outside and don’t want prescription sunglasses. In that case, contact lenses may be a better route.

Additionally, contact lenses offer a better field of vision than glasses. And some people find that their visual clarity is also better with contacts. But contact lenses require a certain level of maturity and responsibility in lens care. A very young child may not be an ideal candidate for some contact lens options.

So, there really isn’t one that’s better than the other. Glasses and contact both have pros and cons that you can consider with the eye doctor. The one place where contacts may be the better overall option is if CRT seems to be the best treatment option.

Other Correction Options

Glasses and contacts are typically the most common ways of dealing with myopia, especially in children or teenagers. But there is another option to consider:

Refractive Surgery

There are several types of refractive surgery. Many share similarities, with significant differences that make them ideal for different people. Some doctors offer laser surgery options, such as LASIK. Your eye doctor can review all your options with you.

Related Refractive Error

Blurry distant vision doesn’t automatically mean you or your child have myopia. Astigmatism is another refractive error that can cause blurry distant or close-up vision. An eye affected by astigmatism has a shape resembling an American football instead of being round.

How astigmatism affects the eye determines the type of vision complications it brings. Your eye doctor can detect astigmatism during the same comprehensive exam they detect any other refractive error with.

Discuss Correction Options for Myopia

Your vision needs and lifestyle are significant factors in choosing the ideal way of managing or correcting myopia—or any other refractive error. After examining your eyes, your eye doctor can review your different treatment options with you.Depending on your age and health, you should see the eye doctor every 1 to 2 years. If you’re due for you or your child is due for your next exam, contact Bettner Vision today. Our professional staff can answer your questions and get you in to see one of our optometrists.

Written by Dr. Christopher Bettner, OD

Dr. Christopher Bettner has been serving the optometric needs of Colorado Springs since 1995. He is trained in ocular pathology with an emphasis in the treatment and management of ocular disease, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and pre- and post-operative care.

More Articles By Dr. Christopher Bettner, OD

Our Blog

The information you need, when you need it. 

Read our blog for the latest eye care and eyewear news.

Our Address

Bettner Vision is conveniently located in the Marketplace at Briargate, on the corner of North Union Boulevard and Family Place. You can find us beside Sushi Rakkyo and the T-Mobile store.

  • 9205 N Union Blvd. #110
  • Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Contact Information

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday : 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Thursday : 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Friday : 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: By Appointment
  • Sunday: Closed
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax