Long-term Safety of LASIK vs. Contact Lenses
For some people, making the decision to have LASIK is not as straightforward as it is for others. Misunderstandings about the safety of laser eye surgery can sometimes cause people to hesitate or second-guess the choice. Fortunately, the majority of those misunderstandings can be resolved by talking with LASIK patients and doctors, and by researching the safety record of LASIK vs. contact lenses, over both the short and long term.
A lot of the misconceptions about LASIK safety come from the very earliest days of laser eye surgery, when the technology and procedure itself was new. It was hard for people to accept that something so “radical” could be safe.
Time has proven those initial concerns to be without cause. The LASIK safety record has always been high, with complication rates so low as to be considered extremely rare. Now with steady advancements in the technology, the record is better than ever.
In fact, LASIK is so safe that the U.S. Navy recommends it to Marines, 92 percent of whom achieve 20/20 vision following LASIK surgery.
Contact Lenses can Permanently Damage Eyes
A thought that sometimes prevents contact lens users from pursuing LASIK is: “I use contact lenses, so I already don’t wear glasses. Why would I need laser eye surgery?” Unfortunately for them, they usually aren’t aware that long or short-term contact lens use can cause serious and permanent vision damage. In severe cases, it can even cause blindness.
The reason contact lenses are so damaging is the simple fact that every time you put one in, you are inserting a foreign piece of plastic into your eye. Infections, bacterial irritation, altered corneal thickness, corneal ulcers and micro-cysts are just some of the possible complications. Astoundingly, for those regularly using contact lenses, vision-threatening infections are proven to occur at a rate of 1 in 2000, whereas only 1 in 10,000 LASIK recipients experience complications.
Fatigue is another risk factor for contact lens wearers. Even the most diligent will on occasion improperly wash and dry their hands before inserting or removing their lenses, greatly increasing infection risks. Sleeping with your lenses in is akin to smothering your cornea — even permeable lenses limit oxygen and fluid flow around the eye, both of which can cause irreparable damage.
Watch ASCRS Clinical Spotlight: Soft Contact Lenses Versus LASIK for Treatment of Myopia for more information.
The Better Choice
Time and research has proven that when it comes to the health of your eyes and vision, LASIK is a clear winner over contact lenses — but the decision to have LASIK vs contact lenses is not one that should be made without first fully understanding the benefits and risks.
Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK, and at LASIK of Nevada we screen our patients thoroughly so that only those who are 100 percent suitable for LASIK receive it. Our resolve to help you live a glasses-free lifestyle is second only to our commitment to safety and we never, under any circumstances, break that commitment.
In a perfect world no one would need LASIK, glasses, or contact lenses. Sadly, the reality is that many of us do. LASIK has proven to be the safest, most liberating and cost-effective vision correction option to date. In fact, the cost savings can literally be tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime!
LASIK of Nevada is available to answer any and all questions you may have about LASIK. Call 1.888.498.2020 and book your free consultation with us. You’re only a few short steps from a glasses-free lifestyle!