If you have a visual impairment but do not like the idea of wearing glasses, you may have considered contact lenses, but there may be a better option for you – laser eye surgery. Before settling for an option to give you a clearer vision, here are some pros and cons of contacts and laser eye surgery to help you make the right choice.
Laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery is a procedure for correcting vision problems such as long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism. It involves reshaping the cornea in the eye to improve its ability to focus on objects.
This surgery helps reduce a patient’s reliance on contact lenses or glasses, and in some cases, it eliminates the need for patients to use them.
Benefits of laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery has several benefits over contact lenses and glasses. Some of these benefits include:
- Long-term solution
You need to replace glasses or contacts regularly, but a laser eye procedure gives you a long-term solution for your vision problem. The changes made during the procedure is permanent, and even if your vision can change over time, It will last longer than contact lenses or glasses.
- Increased freedom
If you use glasses or contacts, you will need to carry them with you wherever you go, including their accessories such as glasses case and contact lens fluid. If you undergo laser eye surgery, you can go about your affairs without worrying about any of these things. You can also go swimming or to the sauna.
- Improved self-confidence
Undergoing laser eye surgery can significantly impact your self-confidence, plus you won’t have to worry about how your glasses make you look.
- Reduced risk of infection
While wearing contact lenses, you will constantly put your hands in your eyes, which leaves your eyes at risk of infection. However, with laser eye surgery, you won’t have the risk of getting an eye infection after your eyes heal.
Potential disadvantages of laser eye surgery
If you want to undergo LASEK or LASIK, you may feel concerned about the risk these procedures have. Complications from laser eye surgery rarely occur, and when they do, further surgery can correct them.
The possible risks of laser eye surgery include:
- Dry eyes
After the procedure, your eyes may feel slightly dry and uncomfortable, but using the eye drop from your surgeon can ease the discomfort, and it will subside as your eyes heal.
- Imperfect vision
Laser eye surgery can improve your vision, but you may still have to use glasses for some tasks such as driving at night or reading small print. In a few cases, as the eyes heal, there may be a small prescription. If the prescription is significant, the surgeon may carry out a top-up procedure to further improve vision under the consultant’s recommendation.
- Glares and halos
Some people experience the glare or halo effect after the surgery. However, this significantly reduces in the few weeks following the treatment and improves over three months.
- Flap complications
In laser eye treatments that involve creating a flap on the cornea, such as LASIK, the cornea may not heal properly, but this rarely occurs. The risk of flap complication reduces by adhering to the aftercare advice provided by the surgeon. If flap complications occur, further treatment is available to correct it.
Cost of laser eye surgery
The cost of laser eye surgery differs, depending on the procedure, but its average cost starts from £1,500 per eye. Although the upfront cost of the surgery is higher, it is a more cost-effective option compared to getting contacts or lenses in the long run.
Contact lenses are corrective lenses worn in the eye to correct long-sightedness, short-sightedness, and astigmatism; however, they don’t provide a permanent solution like laser eye surgery. This means you need to buy new ones often and clean them daily.
Benefits of contact lenses
Contact lenses have several benefits, but these benefits may not be as much as those offered by laser eye surgery. Benefits of contact lenses include:
- Alternative to glasses
If you do not like glasses or feel that they do not suit you, you can consider contact lenses as an alternative.
- Better field of view than glasses
Contact lenses conform to the shape of the eye, which means there would be no frames to obstruct your vision.
- Freedom to be active
Contact lenses are less restrictive than glasses when it comes to playing sports and other activities, but they are unsuitable for swimming or relaxing in a sauna.
Disadvantages of wearing contact lenses
- Constant contact with the eyes
If you don’t like touching your eyes, contact lenses may not be the best option for you because you have to touch your eyes to put them in and remove them.
- Risk of infection
Contact lenses increase the risk of having eye infections such as microbial keratitis, which may become severe without treatment. To reduce the risk of infection, you have to clean the lenses properly or use daily disposable lenses, which cost more.
Your contact lenses can fall out of your eyes and get lost, and you also have to carry spare lenses with the cleaning fluid wherever you go. You can’t also shower or sleep with contact lenses as they increase the risk of having an eye infection
Cost of contact lenses
Daily disposable contact lenses cost up to £90 for three months supply – you may spend over £360 for lenses in a year, and in ten years, you get to spend about £3600. This excludes the cost of glasses you may need since it’s not advisable to wear contact seven days a week.
If you are still unsure which option to choose, book a consultation at The LASIK Clinic with our experienced eye doctor. You can call 020 7183 3622 to schedule your appointment.