Is LASIK Better Than Contacts? The Choice Is Clear

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by Dougherty Laser Vision

Over the past 25 years, I’ve performed more than 40,000 LASIK and PRK procedures, and the majority of those patients have sought freedom from their dependence on contact lenses. Their most common question during the initial LASIK consultation is, “Why is LASIK better than continuing to use contact lenses?”

While the most obvious answer for such patients is that they’ll be free from having to wear and insert contact lenses, there are two other equally compelling reasons why LASIK is better in the long term:

  • Safety
  • Cost (compared to contact lens use over a lifetime)
  • Convenience

Safety

LASIK eye surgery today is not what it used to be 23 years ago when the FDA first approved the vision correction procedure. A wealth of research and technological advancements have made LASIK even more safe and effective. Advancements include:

Femtosecond Lasers

Femtosecond lasers create a far more precise LASIK flap compared to traditional microkeratomes that use a mechanical blade. This advanced laser technology reduces the incidence of dry eyes and flap complications while providing a faster healing time.

Eye Trackers

Our lasers are equipped with sophisticated eye-tracking technology that follows even the most subtle eye movements during surgery. This not only provides peace of mind for our patients who ask, “What if I move my eye during surgery?!” It results in better quality vision.

Wavefront-Optimized and Topography-Guided Lasers

A new generation of lasers employs technology that allows the surgeon to get exact measurements of up to 7000 points on the cornea’s surface to treat corneal irregularities. This will enable us to substantially improve the statistical chance for our patients to achieve 20/20 vision, with reduced incidence of halos and glare.

Well over 95% of DLV patients with nearsightedness and astigmatism have 20/20 uncorrected vision following surgery and no longer need to wear glasses or any other vision aids.

Finally, concerning safety, a key danger associated with contact lenses involves overnight use. Many people sleep without removing their contact lenses. Doing so increases the chance of damaging your cornea and causing an eye infection, a condition known as infectious keratitis or corneal ulcers.

People who sleep without removing their contacts have a 1 in 40 chance of developing such problems over a 10-year period. According to a recent CDC report, in 2015, more than one million eye doctor and emergency room visits were made in the United States for complications from contact-lens-related corneal infections. After performing more than 40,000 PRK and LASIK procedures, I have never had a patient experience vision loss from a corneal ulcer or corneal infection.

In addition, long-term contact lens wearers are also more likely to develop dry eyes. It is believed that contact lenses damage the oil-producing glands (Meibomian glands) in the eyelids responsible for maintaining a healthy tear film. This, combined with infrequent blinking and incomplete blinking, decreases the expression of these oil glands and may eventually result in blocked glands and possibly eye pain.

Cost

The cost of daily wear contact lenses and glasses is typically $500 or more per year. When you compare this cost over a decade to the cost of LASIK surgery, it becomes clear that LASIK is a great investment. When you also consider the added convenience and safety, LASIK laser eye surgery is the clear choice.

“I have never seen this well in my life!”

“Vision like I had when I was young.”

“I can’t believe I waited this long to do it!”

These are just a few of the comments I hear on a daily basis from patients after their LASIK surgery.

Convenience

For people with vision problems, wearing contact lenses can become frustratingly mundane. With refractive surgery like LASIK, you can achieve permanent correction of these vision errors and no longer have to deal with the repetitive tasks of:

  • Putting in and removing contact lenses for sports, swimming, or the enjoyment of hobbies that may make them fall out
  • Paying to replace lost contact lenses
  • Remembering to remove and clean your lenses and buying cleaning solutions
  • Having regular eye exams to replace or get new contact lenses

If you’re ready to see if LASIK laser vision correction is right for you, take our LASIK self test and book a consultation with Dougherty Laser Vision. It’s free, easy to book online, and you may find that LASIK is the perfect solution to your vision correction needs. You have nothing to lose, except perhaps your glasses and contacts, and everything to gain—including clear vision through your own eyes!