From cost to misplaced fears, many people opt for contact lenses over
getting LASIK for all the wrong reasons. The truth is for most people,
LASIK eye surgery comes with fewer drawbacks than
contact lenses, and there is plenty of new research (and plain old facts)
to support this premise.
“Safety, convenience, superior vision and long-term savings make
LASIK eye surgery a winner over contact lenses any day of the week,”
says Key-Whitman Eye Center’s
President and Chief Surgeon Jeffrey Whitman, M.D.
Dr. Whitman explains three surprising areas where LASIK trumps wearing
Truth No. 1: LASIK is a safer option than wearing contacts.
“There is no doubt in my mind that LASIK is safer for the health
of your eyes than contact lens wear. This is especially true if you use
extended wear contact lenses. People who wear contact lenses for a week
or for a month, or don’t clean the lenses properly, have a much
higher rate of infection than we’ve ever seen with a LASIK procedure,”
Dr. Whitman says.
In fact, last year the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attributed nearly 1 million doctor visits and 58,000 emergency room
visits annually to eye infections such as keratitis. “Wearing contact
lenses is the largest single risk factor for developing the infection
[keratitis],” says the CDC.
Truth No. 2: LASIK patients are amazed that the procedure is so quick and easy.
According to Dr. Whitman, “The way we perform LASIK today, patients
find the procedure is easy on them, and there really is little to no discomfort.
We hear that every day.”
Dr. Whitman explains how today’s leading edge technology makes LASIK
easy for patients.
Truth No. 3: Patient satisfaction rates for LASIK have skyrocketed from
60% to 96%.
As we reported on our blog earlier this year, two FDA studies (PROWL-1
and PROWL-2) recently revealed that patients are significantly happier
with the results of their LASIK procedures than in years past. Why?
New LASIK technology and screening techniques are the heroes here.
Truth No. 4: If you have astigmatism you CAN get LASIK.
One of the long-standing myths about LASIK eye surgery is that people with
astigmatism shouldn’t get LASIK. “It’s bizarre how that
misperception has remained around for so long.
We've been treating astigmatism with the laser for years now (during both LASIK and
cataract surgery), and we have had excellent results,” Dr. Whitman says.
Truth No. 5: LASIK can actually IMPROVE night vision.
At the World Cornea Congress in April, researchers revealed the results
of the first
study to compare patient satisfaction with LASIK to contact lenses. The survey of 1,815 adults revealed that patients who
switched from either glasses or contacts to LASIK reported their moderate
to severe night vision problems declined from 14 percent after 1 year
to 7 percent after 2 years.
Night vision problems for patients who wore contact lenses increased slightly
after 2 years. LASIK patients who switched from contacts also reported
lower incidence of dry eye syndrome.
Truth No. 6: LASIK is less expensive than wearing contact lenses.
“LASIK has many advantages over contact lenses, one is convenience
(see Truth No. 7), but if you look at the cost over many years of buying
contacts and solutions, LASIK really ends up to be the better deal,”
says Dr. Whitman.
Truth No. 7: No contest. Life post-LASIK is more convenient than life with contacts.
Dr. Whitman explains it this way: “I think when people are considering
– ‘Do I want to have LASIK surgery?’ – they really
need to think about the years of inconvenience they’ve had with
glasses and contacts in the past. Imagine if I gave you a choice to get
up every morning and see without glasses, safely, beautifully, all day,
all night, 24-7, would you pick it? I know you would, and that’s
what LASIK can do for you today.”
Still not convinced? Schedule an eye health exam and consultation with
a reputable LASIK eye surgeon to discuss your options. If you are not
a good candidate for LASIK, there are other surgical options available,
photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), implantable collamer lenses (ICL) and more.
Photo Source: Dollar Photo Club