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 contact lenses.
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 a slightly 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, including photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), implantable collamer lenses (ICL) and more.
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