Wearing Contact Lenses Vs. LASIK Eye Surgery: The Costs, Benefits, and Risks

August 18, 2016

Everyone prefers the convenience of clear vision, but we weren’t all blessed with the gift of 20/20 eyesight. Whether you were born with vision problems or they developed over time, you may have found that corrective lenses are required for you to enjoy everyday life. While many people with vision problems wear contact lenses, there are risks that accompany the many benefits of contacts. Compared to glasses, contacts are more convenient, provide better field-of-view, and increase peripheral awareness. However, the negative aspects of wearing contacts, especially when used incorrectly, are plentiful.

Contact Lense Risks

First, wearing contact lenses can cause several serious eye conditions including infections, corneal abrasions, and ulcers. These conditions may develop at different rates for individuals and will damage your eyes. In some extreme cases, these conditions can cause permanent blindness. For example, some people that wear contact lenses may leave the lenses in for long periods of time or sleep with their contacts in. When the lenses are eventually removed, the consequential dryness of the lenses can easily scratch your eye.

No matter how small the abrasion is, the pain is noticeable and may leave your affected eye extremely sensitive to light. When an incident like this takes place, you will not be able to determine the seriousness of the developing problem until you actually remove the contact. Sometimes, these conditions develop slowly over time. Symptoms of eye irritation can indicate a more serious problem. So, always seek out a diagnosis from an eyecare professional to determine whether your eye irritation is developing into a serious problem.

Second, contact lenses are expensive. If you wear disposable contact lenses daily and replace them every two weeks — the most common lens replacement schedule recommended by eye doctors — you can expect to pay approximately $250 for a year’s supply of lenses. Don’t forget that you will likely pay another $150 to $200 on contact lens solution and doctor visits for a total annual cost of around $400 to wear contact lenses. Depending on your specific eye complications, wearing contact lenses could cost you even more.

Additionally, studies show that contact lens wearers are 10 times more likely to experience significant vision loss or blindness from wearing contact lenses than from having LASIK eye surgery. When the surgery is performed by an experienced surgeon in a facility with excellent equipment and a careful screening process that ensures good candidacy, the rate of success is very high. While complications from contact lenses accumulate over years, those from LASIK eye surgery occur over a brief time and heal quickly.

LASIK Risks

Knowing some of the risks of LASIK can help you determine whether eye surgery is right for you. For example, LASIK may induce dryness in eyes and may cause some haloes for a brief period of time after surgery. The surgery could cause complications such as infection. However, these risks are actually less likely than those associated with contact lens wear. As far as the costs, LASIK requires a substantial upfront expense of $2,100 per eye, on average. However, for those who wear contact lenses, the benefit over time has value. LASIK patients appreciate not  having to wear contact lenses. Also, they don’t worry about the constant dangers of wearing contact lens. Finally, they enjoy the convenience of waking up every morning and going to sleep every night without the task of inserting or removing lenses.

It is important to note that research does not suggest that either contacts or laser eye surgery (LASIK) are risky. In fact, research shows that both are safe in their own ways. The widespread use of contacts indicates that many people are willing to take some risks to correct their vision. In the same way, laser eye surgery is a relatively less risky option than a lifetime of wearing contact lenses, according to several studies. With technological advances such as faster, blade-free lasers, and more experienced surgeons, laser eye surgery has become a preferred option for improving eyesight.

Improving your vision with LASIK will substantially reduce the risk of damage to your eyes and reduce the expenses required for clear vision. 

 

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What Our Patients Think

  • Ben Crosswhite / OWNER, CROSSWHITE FITNESS
    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
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    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
  • Charles / RETIRED COMMANDER , UNITED STATES NAVY
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
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    Janice Bloom / ADMISSIONS DATABASE & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
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    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
  • Sallie Bloom / SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    Sue / CHIROPRACTOR
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
  • Tim / NATIONAL ENDURO CHAMPION
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    Troy Doss / ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AT JEFFERSON FOREST
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
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