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.
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.