LASIK vs. Contact Lenses

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Truth be told, I was a book worm and Cartoon Network addict. As my eye prescriptions continued to fluctuate, I wore glasses for most of my elementary and middle school years. It wasn’t until high school that I graduated to contact lenses, and after five years of wearing disposable lenses, my vision started to stabilize. I got LASIK eye surgery during my sophomore year of college before I traveled to India to work at an orphanage in Old Delhi. Given my history of eye infections like conjunctivitis, my dad decided the timing was perfect.

The surgery took less than a couple minutes on each eye.  The whole process was swift and painless, but I was terrified because I had never undergone any surgery before. However, I can honestly say that LASIK changed my life. In less than 5 minutes I had crystal clear vision. My trip to India went smoothly without the hassle of lenses or solution. Even ten years later, LASIK continues to benefit my active lifestyle and keep me at my all-time best.

LASIK

Pros

Quick, Painless, and Safe

LASIK eye surgery offers a quick and simple operation with little to no downtime. An alternative to contact lenses, this vision correction surgery is safe as the laser is designed to shut off to any sudden movements from the patient. The surgeon changes the focusing power of the eye by reshaping the inner cornea with a laser. LASIK leads to better visual acuity and dramatically improves lifestyle by eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

No More Irritation

LASIK eye surgery is a good option for those who suffer from dry eyes, allergic reactions, and infections. Contact lenses decrease oxygen delivery to the cornea as well as disrupts the tear film on the eye that naturally removes toxins, allergens, and bacteria. LASIK also makes the eyes more comfortable by eradicating any irritation on the eye from lenses.

Hands-free Life

The freedom LASIK grants is life-changing. Basic activities are no longer hindered by glasses or contact lenses. Swimming, sports, and even morning routines are simplified by a simple surgery that takes less than 10 minutes.

Cons

Requirements

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Good candidates are over 18 years old and have had stable vision for 2-3 years. They usually do not have any eye diseases, autoimmune disorders, or severe refractive errors. Candidates must be in good health and have pupils and corneas of sufficient size. Other surgeries such as photorefractive keratectomy may be better options for people with high prescriptions or thin corneas.

Cost

Lasik is significantly more costly than contact lenses. You can estimate to spend around $1,500 per eye totaling to a rough $3,000. However, LASIK is a one-time surgical procedure making it an investment that outweighs the cost of contact lenses in the long-term.

Contact Lenses

Pros

Vision Correction

 

Contact lenses eliminate the need for eyeglasses. Lenses are easily bought online or at the local ophthalmologist to provide accurate vision correction. Unlike LASIK, if your vision changes you can change your contact lens prescription as frequently as you need.

Wide Selection of Options

Safe and effective, contact lenses come in a variety of colors and brands. You can choose lenses that best fit your taste and preference such as daily disposable lenses, extended-wear lenses, or even tinted lenses.

Cost

Contacts can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,400 per year depending on your prescription and lens. Compared to LASIK eye surgery, contact lenses may be a cheaper alternative in the short-term.

Cons

Maintenance
Practicing proper contact lens hygiene is vital to prevent eye infections or disease. If you have extended wear contact lenses, cleaning and disinfecting lenses before sleeping is essential as well as having sanitary conditions before inserting lenses into the eye. This can be problematic for young teens or anyone who lacks the discipline to take care of their lenses.

Lost or Damaged Lenses
Lenses can be easily lost or scratched. Any damages to the lens such as scrapes, tears, or scratches are dangerous to the eye and must be thrown out immediately. Continuous use or overuse of dirty or damaged lenses can lead to vision-threatening diseases.

Not Water-Proof
You’ll have to wear protective eyewear in the pool or at the beach as lenses are not water-proof. Prescription sunglasses or eye-goggles are always a good option to consider.

Comfort
Some find contact lenses to be uncomfortable and unsatisfactory. Dry eyes are one of the most common complaints of contact wearers. Long hours on digital screens, reading, or traveling can lead to sensitive, itchy, and red eyes.

Cost
Cost can also be a disadvantage for those who do not wear daily disposable contacts. The cost of contact lens solution, as well as the time cleaning and disinfecting lenses, can be a difficult practice for those with busy mornings or nights.

Conclusion:

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by Insider Envy Staff