Contacts or Glasses: What Is Best for Athletes

By Gordon Wong, OD on April 09, 2019

Four athletes jumping for a loose basketball Recreational or contact sports place unique demands of athletes. When deciding whether glasses or contact lenses will work for a particular sport, several factors must be considered. Many athletes opt for contact lenses because they are safer and less prone to being accidentally broken.

At Gordon Wong Eye Designs & Optometry, we offer many contact lens options in La Jolla, CA, including some that are better suited to athletes.

If you have questions about which option is best for you, Dr. Gordon Wong will be glad to explain the benefits of glasses vs. contact lenses for athletes.

Benefits of Glasses for Athletes

Glasses and prescription sports goggles (which offer greater stability) offer a physical barrier that protects the eyes.

If you are mountain biking, for example, your glasses or goggles may take the brunt of an unexpected impact with a tree branch. Or, during a football game, glasses may prevent an opponent’s finger from poking your eye.

Glasses and goggles also offer superior UV protection, making them ideal for long periods of outdoor activities.

If you have dry eyes, you may want to avoid wearing contact lenses for prolonged periods of time.

Many golfers, bikers, and other athletes use prescription glasses or sunglasses in order to see clearly while protecting their eyes from sun exposure and glare.

However, there are disadvantages to wearing glasses. Contact sports can damage your glasses or goggles. Some sports even place restrictions on the use of glasses. In addition, glasses and goggles do not offer good peripheral vision.

Benefits of Contact Lenses for Athletes

Contact lenses offer many benefits for athletes. Most sports require the unimpeded peripheral vision that contacts deliver. Other benefits of contacts during sports include:

  • Unimpeded vision
  • No frames blocking the line of sight
  • Greater comfort
  • No slipping
  • No fogging
  • Easier time fitting into helmets or headgear
  • Clear vision

Our optical store in La Jolla carries products by GP Specialists, one of several manufacturers that offers contact lenses specifically for sports.

Which One Is Right for Me?

When deciding whether glasses, prescription sports goggles, or contacts are right for you, consider these questions:

  • Are glasses or contacts allowable in my chosen sport?
  • Which option offers the greatest number of benefits?
  • What does my coach advise?
  • Which option is safer?
  • Which option is the most sustainable?
  • Do contacts give me dry eyes?
  • How important is UV protection for me?
  • Which option best fits my budget?

Most professional athletes prefer contacts because of the unobstructed view of the playing field that corrective lenses offer. During your consultation with Dr. Wong, describe your activities and personal preferences for prescription eyewear. If you do decide to go with contacts, our office offers several brands that are designed specifically for athletes.

Contact Us Today

There is a lot to think about when choosing between glasses, prescription goggles, and contact lenses. The good news is that, once you find the right choice for your chosen sport, you can focus on your game without worrying about your vision.

To learn more about the pros and cons of glasses and contact lenses for athletes, contact our office online or call us in La Jolla at (858) 454-4699.

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