Refractive error is the most common eye-related problem these days. Approximately 30% people under 25 years of age have one or other form of refractive error. Common forms of refractive error are Myopia, Hypermetropia and Astigmatism. Two common non-invasive options to counteract these refractive errors are Spectacles and Contact lenses. Each of them has their own merits and demerits but on cosmetic front, contact lenses score better than spectacles.

Let’s analyze merits and demerits of contact lenses:

Merits of contact lenses:

1. Cosmesis:  

The greatest advantage of contact lens is better cosmesis. Spectacles are not accepted widely and are seen as a social stigma. Contact lenses give clear vision with great cosmesis.     

2. Active lifestyle:

There are many activities including sports which limit the use of spectacles. Contact lenses help in maintaining an active lifestyle with a full range of activities.

3. Crisp clear vision:     

Spectacles may not give crisp clear vision in high refractive errors. Contact lenses score over spectacles hereby enabling the patient to have crisp clear vision even in high refractive errors.               

Demerits of contact lens:     

1. Learning curve:  

Contact lenses have a small learning curve. Initially one may feel it difficult to wear and then remove contact lens but once this learning curve is over, wearing contact lenses is as easy as sticking bindi on the forehead.

2. Infection: 

Though rare but contact lens use is associated with serious risk of infection. This usually happens if proper care is not exercised while using contact lens. This needs urgent medical attention.

3. Dryness:

A contact lens is usually associated with dryness which can be easily taken care of by using lubricating eyedrops and restricting hours of contact lens use.            

Precautions :

1. Avoid bathing or swimming while wearing contact lens

2. Avoid sleeping while wearing contact lens

3. Clean contact lens after its use and place them in proper solution when not in use

4. Change contact lens periodically