Contact lenses vs laser eye surgery
If you’re a contact lens wearer you’ve probably imagined how incredible it would be to be able to see without them. From lying in bed watching Netflix, to playing sport, there are all kinds of activities where it would be far easier if you could see without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Many contact lens wearers eventually decide laser eye surgery is the right option for them. The quick, safe procedure can offer an escape from the hassle, expense and potential risks of wearing contact lenses. Whether you’re a full time or occasional contact lens wearer, if you’re considering laser eye surgery, we’ve pulled together this handy comparison to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Let’s look at three of the most important factors to consider…
We’re open and transparent about the cost of having laser eye surgery with Laser Vision Scotland. To have laser eye treatment carried out on both eyes, the cost is £2,900 in total and you can have a free, no-obligation assessment to check if you might be suitable. Many people look at the cost of laser eye surgery and decide it’s out of their price range. However, when compared with the lifetime cost of contact lenses, you might be surprised at what your most cost effective option is.
The cost of contact lenses varies, depending on what type of lenses you wear and how frequently you replenish them. The average daily contact lens wearer spends approximately £9,500 on contact lenses in their lifetime. Then check up appointments once a year cost £15-40, unless they are included with the cost of your contact lenses.
With this in mind, the initial cost of laser eye surgery might seem like a worthwhile investment after all.
Any contact lens wearer will tell you, they can on occasion be a bit of a hassle. On the plus side, contact lenses mean you don’t have to wear glasses, but the downside is the regular cleaning of monthly lenses, remembering to take enough supply and solutions when you are travelling, and trying to keep them clean at festivals or when camping. Contact lenses can also become uncomfortable if you wear them for extended periods of time, or when you are working in particularly dry environments, such as around computers.
Laser eye surgery, on the other hand, is relatively hassle free. Aside from the strict aftercare instructions you’ll need to follow in the days and weeks after your procedure – such as avoiding certain activities for a while or putting in eye drops – the treatment can leave you with the same freedom as some who has always had perfect vision.
It’s easy to assume that wearing contact lenses is safer than having laser eye surgery, since contact lenses have been around much longer. However, several new studies indicate this is not the case.
Complications from wearing contact lenses can take a while to develop, while complications following laser eye surgery become apparent relatively quickly. In both cases, eye infections cause the greatest risk. The most common infections which lead to vision loss were bacterial keratitis and acanthamoeba keratitis.
According to a study by Oregon Health and Science University, contact lenses pose a greater risk of vision loss than laser eye surgery does, particularly those who slept with contact lenses in were at greatest risk. The study found that rates of infection which eventually led to vision loss were higher in contact lense wearers than those who had undergone laser eye surgery. It concluded that “both contact lenses and LASIK are very safe, although there is a small risk of complications from both of them”.
A major factor to consider when looking at the safety of contact lenses versus laser surgery is hygiene. Compare the level of hygiene at a professional laser eye treatment centre, versus that of a typical home where you might keep your contact lenses in the bathroom cabinet. In both cases, good hygiene is essential for keeping the eyes free of infection.
As both laser eye surgery and contact lenses advance in technology, the risks of both types of vision correction become less.
Want to find out if you’re suitable for laser eye surgery or if you should stick with contact lenses? Make an appointment with us today.