Should you opt for contact lenses to correct your vision, or undergo LASIK laser eye surgery? A new study may help you to make this important decision. The research showed that given the choice between contact lenses or LASIK, patients who chose LASIK had higher satisfaction levels one, two and three years following surgery.
A brief overview of contact lenses and LASIK
It’s important to choose what’s right for you. But to do that, you need to be informed about each option. So what are the main differences between contact lenses and LASIK?
- Flexible but impermanent – contacts are great if you don’t currently want to commit to anything more permanent. You can just put them in and take them out as you wish.
- Low cost – contacts are typically an affordable option, as they don’t cost much up front. (However, if you consider the years ahead, the larger outlay required for LASIK surgery may in fact be the more cost effective option).
- Side-effects – while this will not affect everyone, it’s common for contact lens users to experience dry eyes as a result of poor oxygen supply to the eye.
- Permanent vision correction – once you have had surgery, your sight will be corrected and you won’t have to do anything else.
- Bladeless surgery – the procedure is painless and non-invasive, carried out using state-of-the-art lasers.
- Quick procedure – LASIK surgery typically takes just 10-15 minutes altogether.
What did the study find?
The new study, published in the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is the first piece of research to analyse patient satisfaction levels for LASIK by comparing them to a control group of contact lens wearers. Here are some of the main findings:
- LASIK satisfaction rates, significantly higher to start with, remained constant at 1, 2 and 3 years post-surgery.
- In contrast, contact lens satisfaction decreased over the 3 years of the study.
- Contact lens wearers experienced more infections and other complications during the course of the study.
- LASIK patients experienced better night vision than contact lens wearers.
- Depression was no more common in LASIK patients than the control group.
- Contact lens wearers were more prone to dry eyes.
This is an insightful and informative piece of research for patients considering contact lenses or LASIK. For those put off by the perceived risks of surgery, the results should be reassuring. It can be difficult to predict how we will feel about our treatment in future years, but these unique self-reported insights help practitioners and prospective patients alike to understand the general satisfaction trends among contact lens wearers and LASIK patients.
Future points to consider
Choosing contact lenses or LASIK is a personal decision for each patient and you should discuss it with your specialist. Here are some general points to consider when making your choice:
- Do you understand what LASIK surgery entails and the costs? Take a look at our LASIK calculator to work out how much you can save.
- Are you fully informed about the possible side-effects of both contact lens wear and LASIK surgery?
- Has your eye specialist recommended a particular course of action?
If you would like to discuss your own treatment options with Mr Barsam, please call us on 020 3369 2020 to request a consultation.