Have you ever wondered which is best for you: LASIK vs. contacts? LASIK surgery, because of its relative recency and ability to deliver drastic results, can make some potential candidates nervous, many of whom opt to wear contacts for the long run to avoid the risks of surgery. However recent studies have shed some new light on the situation, and shown us that when weighing the risks and rewards in the case of LASIK vs. contacts, the safer choice might surprise you.
The risks of LASIK eye surgery
Is LASIK better than contacts? It’s a question that we often field from candidates for vision correction, and the answer is ‘yes, and no’. But to put it simply, LASIK is a corrective procedure with lasting effects while contact lenses are more akin to a Band-Aid than a permanent solution.
LASIK surgery of course comes with inherent risk, although that risk is minor. Immediately following the procedure you will experience expected loss of vision, dry eyes, and light sensitivity. The time following the surgery can be uncomfortable, and the eye is especially susceptible to postoperative infection, however, the amount of people experiencing serious complications has plummeted in recent years.
LASIK successfully corrects most patients’ vision to 20/20, with over half of those patients boasting better than 20/20 vision. Most of the reticence towards laser eye surgery comes from the very natural fear of a laser touching one’s eye, but the procedure has such a high success rate and has only gotten safer over time.
Knowing what to expect before and after LASIK eye surgery can turn a difficult experience into a positive one, as can having experienced surgeons, like those at Eye Center of Texas, on your side.
Continue reading: Can you wear contacts after LASIK?
Potential risks of wearing contact lenses
One of the reasons for the high perceived risk of LASIK eye surgery is that the complications are immediate and acute. As with any surgery recovery, there is a short period of discomfort and healing before a patient can take their new eyes for a spin. Potential complications from wearing contact lenses, in contrast, are gradual and slow to develop.
The most common complications from contact wear are corneal damage and infections. Contact wearers often develop infections such as keratitis and conjunctivitis, and problems like dry eyes and lens related discomfort are ubiquitous.
Oregon Health and Science University recently reviewed the topic of LASIK vs. contacts but within the scope of bottom-line loss of vision (which is what everyone fears of after all) and found that there is no real difference in the numbers between those who had LASIK surgery and those that wore contact lenses over an extended period (i.e., as a permanent solution).
While the risks of both wearing contacts and getting LASIK are incredibly low, long-term satisfaction with patients who underwent LASIK is significantly higher than those who chose to keep wearing contacts. As always, it is best to have your questions answered by a professional, read up on what to ask in a LASIK consultation and begin your journey to clearer vision by booking a consultation with Eye Center of Texas today.
Is laser eye surgery cheaper than contacts?
LASIK surgery can be expensive, but so can a lifetime of wearing contact lenses. While LASIK surgery is not covered by health insurance –– it is still considered an elective cosmetic procedure –– contact wearers, if following doctor’s orders, have to shell out an awful lot of cash for multiple consultations and lens changes. While LASIK requires a significant one-time investment, it can quickly become the more cost-effective option when the alternative is paying for lenses, solutions, and doctor visits in perpetuity.
Although many of the risks associated with wearing contacts are incurred by normal wear, they are exacerbated by non-recommended practices such as sleeping with them in, not changing them enough, and not correctly utilizing contact solution. But normal wear is a standard that has proven difficult to achieve; the CDC estimates that 99% of contact wearers report at least one habit that puts them at risk for serious eye infection. So, in the end, LASIK might be a more cost-effective solution to invest in than contacts.
Am I a candidate for LASIK?
What can disqualify you from LASIK? There are a handful or reasons why somebody would not be a candidate for LASIK surgery:
- You do not qualify for LASIK if you are under 18 years old.
- You could not qualify for LASIK if you have extenuating health complications, including diabetes or auto-immune disorders.
- You could not have enough corneal thickness; if your corneas are under .5mm thick you would not qualify for the surgery.
- If you are pregnant or nursing you will have to wait to qualify due to certain prescription’s effect on hormones.
Beyond these factors, only a specialized LASIK surgeon can consult you on your eye health and make recommendations that get you on the path to clear vision. Wondering if you’re a LASIK candidate? Schedule a consultation with one of the LASIK surgeons at Eye Center of Texas to find out if the procedure is right for you.
Interested in LASIK? Seek Expert Council from the Surgeons at Eye Center of Texas
If you are looking for answers in the great debate of LASIK vs. contacts, look to the experts and let Eye Center of Texas weigh in. Our surgeons have successfully performed over 75,000 successful LASIK procedures, meaning that if you are a LASIK candidate, you will be in great hands. At Eye Center of Texas, we not only operate on the cutting edge of technique and technology but provide personalized care with thorough consultations.
Schedule a consultation by calling 713-395-1515 or by requesting an appointment online.
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