Contacts vs. Eyeglasses – The Best Option for Sports Activities

More than half of American adults need corrective lenses, experiencing vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The decision to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction mostly depends on your personal preferences. Lifestyle, comfort, convenience, budget, and aesthetics should all be considered before making that decision. Bear in mind that one is not necessarily better than the other; each has its pros and cons. When it comes to safety and sports performance, there are a few points to consider that may help you make the decision, depending on the nature of the sport you are active in.

Contact lenses enhance sports performance in many ways, such as providing a wider field of view than eyeglasses. Depending on the sport, some eye doctors recommend contact lenses because they can be safer. This article will list the pros and cons of eyeglasses and contact lens usage in sports to help you make the decision.

Contact Lenses


  • Contacts provide an unobstructed, clear, and crisp vision. There are no frames to get into your line of sight so you will have better peripheral vision. You can view more of your surroundings and react faster to objects coming at you and to other players around you. You also can more easily see and react to ground balls or other objects at your feet.
  • Eliminating disturbances from jostling frames while you move.
  • Contacts are comfortable. Since the lenses fit your eye, you will experience less distortion, even when moving.
  • Contacts are unlikely to fall out or need adjusting. Unlike eyeglasses, contacts will not break in your eye and cause injury.
  • Fogging or rain is not an issue.
  • Contacts are cheaper to replace than glasses, should you break your glasses frequently.
  • You will have no glare or reflections.
  • Better compatibility with safety equipment. For sports that require headgear or protective goggles, contact lenses don’t interfere with the fit or comfort of these safety devices.


  • If something pokes you in the eye, you can lose your contact lens.
  • If something gets under your contact lens, you will have irritated eyes.
  • You cannot swim or do other water sports in contacts.
  • Contacts do not protect your eye from injury.



  • Eyeglasses can help keep dust and debris out of your eye
  • The lenses can prevent you from getting poked in the eye
  • Wearing glasses reduces the need to touch your eyes, which in turn reduces the likelihood of irritating your eyes or developing an eye infection.
  • Eyeglasses won’t exacerbate the problem of dry and sensitive eyes, as contact lenses can.


  • The lenses in eyeglasses can break and cause eye injuries
  • They don’t provide peripheral vision, so it is easy to miss a flying object coming towards you and frames limit your visual field
  • Some sports ban the usage of eyeglasses while you are playing it, such as rugby, boxing, and football.
  • Eyeglasses will jostle around as you run or move
  • Most protective gear like helmets and face masks, or other headgears, can’t fit well over glasses
  • Eyeglasses are expensive to replace if broken
  • Lenses can cause distortions, making things seem larger or smaller than they really are
  • Cold weather causes glasses to fog, while rainy weather creates splatter marks on eyeglass lenses
  • Lenses may cause reflections that hinder performance
Eyeglasses can effectively serve as safety glasses in many sports situations that require it.


As long as the sport allows it (you should not wear contact lenses for water sports), contact lenses provide many benefits in terms of safety, comfort, and performance. There’s always a case to be made for eyeglasses however in terms of convenience. Before making any decisions on your purchase, please make sure to check with your eye care professional.