LASIK or Contact Lenses: Which Is Better?

[link pid=”41″]Woman comparing LASIK to contact lenses. [/link]

My patients know me as their ophthalmologist here in Charleston, SC, but I am also the president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS). This role allows me to stay at the forefront of innovations and information related to these procedures, and I’m always excited to bring what I learn back to my patients. That said, I’d like to discuss a recent study presented last month during the annual meeting of ASCRS which has generated particularly exciting results and may give patients even more reasons to consider [link pid=”41″]LASIK surgery[/link].

More than 6,000 people comprised 3 separate categories of vision correction for comparison: contact lens wearers, LASIK patients who were 1-month post-op, and LASIK patients who were 5 years or more post-op. Among other things, the study found wavefront-guided LASIK patients to have improved distance vision with a lower incidence of adverse effects than the contact lens wearers. Additionally, 97.9% of LASIK patients reported that their quality of life improved after undergoing the LASIK procedure. A summary of the study in Healio, an ocular surgery news source, can be found here.

LASIK has been and continues to be a popular solution for long-term vision correction. However, it also offers patients an improved lifestyle for 3 other key reasons: comfort, convenience, and overall cost-savings. Patients often find these added benefits are part of what makes them so happy to have undergone the procedure.

1. Comfort

Contact lens wearers are all too familiar with the discomfort and irritation that can accompany contact lens wear. Ensuring that lenses fit properly and that they are meticulously cleaned and cared for is an important part of minimizing dryness, redness, and irritation, but these steps can be time consuming and inconvenient.

2. Convenience

Placing and removing contact lenses daily can become a headache, especially when you consider the contact lens solution, case, and availability of a sink or other means of cleaning your hands before they touch your eyes. Plus, if you have a problem with your contacts and don’t have glasses on-hand, you may find yourself with a problem. I have several patients who enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming, but struggle with wearing contacts under water. Undergoing LASIK means you can get rid of your contact lenses and accessories and enjoy all kinds of activities without the hassle.

3. Cost Savings

Contact lenses can cost several hundred dollars per year, depending on the prescription strength, type of lens, and insurance coverage. While the initial cost of a LASIK procedure is higher than a year’s supply of lenses, these values may balance out over the course of a few years making LASIK a more efficient solution over the long-term.

The technology surrounding LASIK procedures continues to develop and improve, and the results we achieve with today’s technology are truly remarkable. The vast majority of my patients tell me they consider it one of the best investments they’ve ever made. If you’re ready to improve your quality of life with LASIK, [link pid=”93″]contact us[/link] and we’ll schedule a consultation.

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