Contact Lenses Vs Laser Eye Surgery: Which Solution is Best for You?
Choosing the form of vision correction most suitable for you is essential. One of the most convenient ways to correct your vision is by wearing contact lenses but opting for laser eye surgery could be even more beneficial. The most suitable option will depend on your eyesight, general health, lifestyle, and budget. There are pros and cons to each option; below, we discuss the specific benefits and possible drawbacks of both contact lenses and laser eye surgery.
Millions of people choose to wear contact lenses, and there are many reasons for this. Daily disposable lenses are the most convenient as you can wear them for an entire day before being disposed of before bed. You can then apply a new pair of lenses the following morning. Lenses are also brilliant if you lead an active lifestyle.
The benefits of contact lenses include:
- Better all-around vision than glasses
- Contact lenses don’t get foggy
- Ideal for playing sports
- Cosmetic appearance
Cons of contact lenses include:
- You cannot swim wearing contact lenses
- If not properly maintained, you can develop eye infections
- They can be inconvenient/fall out
- Some lenses require a lens cleaning routine
Although contact lenses suit many people, they aren’t the ideal choice for everyone, and there are some potential cons to consider. Lenses should never come into contact with water, which means they shouldn’t be worn swimming or even in the shower/bath. When water comes into contact with contact lenses, there is a risk of eye infections like acanthamoeba keratitis or microbial keratitis. Two weekly, monthly, and yearly lenses will also require a daily lens cleaning routine that requires more effort, although simple and fairly quick to achieve.
Laser eye surgery
Laser eye surgery can be a great solution for many people with refractive errors. Laser eye surgery or refractive surgery involves numbing the eye area and then using a laser to remove the surface layer of the cornea. This procedure can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism. Surgery is painless, and if corrections are needed post-surgery, they are done at no extra cost.
There are 3 main types of this surgery.
Reshapes your cornea through a small, self-sealing hole
One laser is used to cut a thin flap away from the cornea’s surface. A second laser reshapes the cornea underneath; The top layer is replaced. No stitches are necessary.
PRK, LASEK and TransPRK
The procedure is quick – as little as 15 minutes. Although you shouldn’t drive for at least 24 hours after, the recovery time is usually very quick. There are many similarities between these three types of surgery. Your surgeon will help you determine which is the best option for you.
Pros of laser eye surgery:
- A permanent solution to refractive errors
- The freedom of not having to wear glasses or lenses
Cons of laser eye surgery include:
- Dry eyes
- Not removing enough tissue – another surgery may have to be booked to correct
- Removing too much tissue – this can be difficult to correct
- Halos, double vision, and glare from oncoming light
- Astigmatism – if the tissue isn’t evenly removed
- Regression – your sight could return to its original state and need further correction
- Bigger up-front cost than contact lenses
It’s also worth noting that age is also a factor. Surgeons will not perform refractive surgery on individuals under the age of 18. If you are under 18, you will have to continue with contact lenses or glasses before you have the option of laser eye surgery. Some surgeons will even suggest that you wait until your mid-20s before choosing surgery, as your prescription is more likely to have stabilized by then.
Which is better, contact lenses or laser eye surgery?
As you can see, there are many pros and cons to both refractive surgery and contact lenses. Your lifestyle, health, and budget will all be factors to consider when deciding. Talk to your optician to find out more about laser eye surgery and contact lenses, they will help you determine the most suitable option for you. If you opt for contact lenses, this website has an excellent selection of affordable lenses from well-known brands such as Acuvue and Clariti.