Why Athletes Prefer Contact Lenses Over Glasses

woman playing tennis

Contact lenses play a vital role in sports vision. Athletes must make quick decisions and respond rapidly, which requires optimal visual clarity. While both glasses and contact lenses correct vision, a significant number of athletes choose contact lenses over glasses. This preference isn’t just about comfort; it’s about gaining a competitive edge.

What Are The Advantages Of Contacts Over Glasses in Sports?

Enhanced Field of Vision

Contact lenses conform to the curvature of the eye, providing a wider field of vision than glasses. This is crucial in sports where seeing as much around you as possible translates into better performance. Unlike glasses, contact lenses do not have frames to block peripheral vision, which is especially important in sports like soccer, basketball, or hockey, where players need to be aware of actions happening to their sides without turning their heads.

Stability and Comfort

During intense physical activity, contact lenses offer unparalleled stability compared to glasses. They move with the eye, remain in place during rapid body movements, and do not slide down the nose or jostle. Glasses, on the other hand, can easily slip or fall off during movement, which not only disrupts the game but also requires athletes to adjust or retrieve their glasses frequently.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Contact lenses present a lower risk of injury than glasses. Glasses can break upon impact, potentially causing serious eye injuries. This is a significant concern in contact sports such as rugby or boxing. Many sports leagues and schools recommend or mandate using contact lenses for athletes as a safer alternative to glasses.

Versatility and Compatibility with Protective Gear

Athletes often need to wear additional protective gear, and contact lenses are far more compatible with items like helmets, face masks, and goggles. Glasses can be cumbersome with such equipment, not fitting properly or fogging up under masks. Contact lenses eliminate these issues, allowing for a more comfortable and effective integration of necessary safety gear.

No Weather-Related Visibility Issues

Contact lenses offer consistent vision regardless of weather conditions. They don’t fog up like glasses in cold weather, nor do they collect raindrops that can obstruct vision during outdoor activities. Some contact lenses also have built-in UV protection and anti-reflective properties, enhancing athletes’ vision under various lighting conditions.

Psychological Benefits

There’s also a psychological advantage to wearing contact lenses. Many athletes feel that without the physical presence of glasses, they are more at ease and able to focus better. Feeling less physically restricted, they can concentrate fully on the game rather than on keeping their glasses in place.

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses: The Ideal Choice for Athletes

Daily disposable contact lenses, often simply called ‘dailies,’ are particularly beneficial for athletes. They are used once and then discarded, which means athletes can wear a fresh pair for each game or practice. This not only ensures optimal hygiene—reducing the risk of infections and eye irritation—but also means there’s no need for cleaning or storing lenses, which can be an inconvenience for busy athletes. Furthermore, in the event of lens loss or damage during play, replacing a daily disposable lens is straightforward and cost-effective.

Popular daily disposable contact lens options known for their comfort and suitability for sensitive eyes include:

Biotrue® ONEday

Biotrue ONEday contacts feature high-definition optics that reduce halos and glare in low-light conditions and also offer protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. These lenses are designed to mimic the eye’s natural moisture, maintaining high levels of hydration throughout the day. 

Blocks UVYes
Special featuresSurface Active Technology for extended moisture
Water content78%

DAILIES AquaComfort PLUS

DAILIES AquaComfort Plus contacts are unique in offering Blink-Activated Moisture technology, which delivers refreshing comfort throughout the day. With each blink, they release polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), a water-soluble synthetic polymer that helps soothe dry, irritated eyes.

Blocks UVNo
Water content69%
Includes wetting agentYes

Focus Dailies 

These contacts are perfect for those who value the convenience of a daily disposable lens. They are especially suited for busy professionals or active individuals who prefer to avoid the hassle of a regular lens care routine.

Material typeHydrogel
Can be worn overnight?No
Lens.com customer rating9.5/10

1-Day Acuvue Moist

1-Day Acuvue Moist contacts offer one of the highest levels of UV protection available in daily disposables, blocking approximately 97% of UVB rays and 82% of UVA rays.

Blocks UVYes
Material typeHydrogel
Water content58%

Conclusion

For these reasons, many athletes find contact lenses to be the superior choice for vision correction while participating in sports. They enhance performance by providing a broader field of vision, greater comfort, and better compatibility with other gear, all while reducing safety risks. 

While glasses may still be suitable for certain low-impact activities, contact lenses remain the clear choice for athletes seeking optimal vision, safety, and comfort on the field. Their ability to eliminate potential hazards, enhance visibility in diverse conditions, and provide a secure fit makes them the ideal partner for peak athletic performance.