Is LASIK Eye Surgery Safer Than Contacts?

Woman putting eye drops in her eyesLong-term effects LASIK vs. contacts. Are contacts worse for your eyes over time than getting LASIK?

In 2006, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University’s Casey Eye Institute suggested that over time, it may be more dangerous to wear contact lenses than to undergo LASIK eye surgery. More recent research has been conducted supporting this claim. Contact lens wearers are more likely to experience vision loss due to infection than LASIK surgery patients.

Why? In 2008, Synovate, Inc., a market research company, conducted a study of 508 contact lens wearers. (Synovate was sold to Ipsos last year.) Participants of the study, all of whom were over 18-years-old and work contacts daily, were asked a number of questions regarding contact lens care.

The results of the study are surprising:

  • 40 percent of participants said they do not wash their hands before handling contact lenses.
  • 20 percent don’t use fresh solution to clean contact lenses.
  • 40 percent have put their lenses in their mouth to clean them.
  • 70 percent wear their contact lenses while swimming.

Poor contact lens hygiene allows bacteria and microorganisms into the eyes. Improper care of contact lenses puts individuals at high risk of serious eye infections that could lead to vision loss. The Casey Eye Institute suggests contact lens wearers are at least five times more likely to experience vision loss due to eye infection from poor contact lens hygiene than LASIK patients are of experiencing similar vision loss from surgical complications.

If you wear contact lenses, consider LASIK eye surgery to correct your vision. Contact Key-Whitman to schedule a free consultation. If LASIK isn’t an option for you in the near future, follow these tips for proper contact lens care:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling contact lenses.
  • Remove lenses before going in the swimming pool, hot tub shower.
  • Do not rinse or store lenses in water, even sterile water.
  • Do not use saliva to wet your contact lenses. This is an easy way to transfer bacteria that could cause infection to the eye.
  • Follow the directions on your prescription, and do not wear contact lenses longer than the specified time.
  • Follow care instructions on your contact lens solution bottle.
  • Even with “no-rub” solution, it is best to use the “rub and rinse” method to clean contact lenses.
  • Allow lens cases to dry between uses, and only use fresh solution on your contacts each time you store them.

Don’t let fear of complications from LASIK prevent you from improving your vision by undergoing LASIK surgery and eliminating the hassle of contact lenses. If you have questions about LASIK, join the doctors of Key-Whitman for our live Facebook Chat on the first Thursday of every month at 11:30 a.m.

When considering your eye care, be sure to stay up to date with the latest news and information about our life-changing services at Key-Whitman Eye Center. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay connected!