Why Contact Lens Wearers Need Backup Glasses

September 4, 2020

Clear racks full of women's glasses


There are a number of reasons when contact lenses may not a viable option for a temporary amount of time. Many contact lens wearers own a pair of glasses lost in the abyss of a drawer, but if the prescription is from 2009, they are most likely useless. Ask yourself – Would I be comfortable wearing these glasses in public?

When contact lenses cannot be worn, it may be impossible to drive, work, or see at school. This is especially an issue in emergency situations when safety and lives are at risk. Based on the prescription and availability of materials, glasses take several days or more to be ordered, made, and received. Don’t wait until you are in a predicament when you need glasses, but are left with nothing.


6 Reasons Why Contact Lens Wearers Need Backup Glasses

1. Run out of contacts

You thought you had one more pair left, but it turns out you already used them. It also just so happens that your contact lens prescription expired, and you can’t order more contacts until your next annual contact lens evaluation and comprehensive eye exam. Now what? We don’t recommend stretching the use of disposable lenses, especially when it comes to re-wearing dailies.

Another thing we have all learned … quarantine happens. If 2020 has taught us anything about eyes, it is that contact lenses are a luxury and not a necessity for everyone. Worldly events impact manufacturing, shipping, and delivering items that we take for granted on a daily basis. Glasses are a more sustainable option when times are uncertain. It’s not a bad idea to have more than one pair of glasses either!


2. Eye infection

Nobody likes waking up to look in the mirror and see conjunctivitis or “pink eye” with all its swollen, red, watery characteristics. Contact lens wearers are already at a higher risk for eye infections. Continuing to wear the contacts during an infection can make the problem worse. Antibiotic eye drops are unable to be administered with contacts in the eyes, therefore, it is necessary to temporarily stop wearing contacts.

There are also situations when contact lenses can cause complications with swelling of the cornea. When the problem is derived from contact lens use, it is mandatory to discontinue wearing the contacts during the healing process. If you don’t have any backup glasses, you will be forced to live in a blur for days to weeks.

3. Eye injury

We can’t predict when accidents happen, but we do know that they do happen. It doesn’t take much to get a corneal abrasion from doing yardwork, playing with the pets, holding a toddler, or even removing contact lenses. In some instances, continuing to wear contacts can increase the risk of infection at the location of the abrasion. Depending on the severity, antibiotic drops might be prescribed to prophylactically protect against infection. As previously mentioned, these drops cannot be inserted while contacts are present in the eyes.


4. Give your eyes a chance to breathe

Wearing contact lenses around the clock is never a good idea. Although technology has certainly progressed over the last 50 years, contact lenses are still pieces of plastic-like material  that are placed on the eyes. The cornea needs oxygen to properly function and maintain clarity. While newer contact lens materials are more oxygen-permeable than those in the past, the cornea is still not receiving as much oxygen from the air compared to an eye without a contact lens on it. Therefore, it is beneficial to give the eyes a break at night rather than wearing the contacts right up until bedtime. Your eyes will thank you!

5. Illness

Unexpected sickness or hospitalization may abruptly stop the ability to wear contact lenses. Most surgeries and procedures prohibit the use of contact lenses in case of emergency changes in treatment. Even if it is a head cold, allergies, or the flu – nobody wants to put in contact lenses while feeling miserable and sleeping on-and-off all day.


6. Travel

What if you have a problem with your contact lenses while far away from home? Oops, you forgot to bring enough contacts for the entire trip. Maybe you just tore or lost a contact and didn’t bring any spares with you. Vacation should not be ruined because you can’t see. Pack extra contacts and your backup glasses to ensure you’ll be able to enjoy the experience and sights!


Come visit our optical to pick out your backup glasses! Your eyes deserve an occasional break from contacts, and you won’t be caught blindly panicking if you are temporarily separated from your beloved contact lenses.