Are Long-Lasting Contacts A Better Choice Than Lasik

Contacts Lasik 30-Day Contacts Put To The Test
No matter how advanced and safe LASIK procedures are, some patients still hesitate to go under the laser. Still others are not good candidates for lasik procedures for one reason or another.

For patients that are a bit "laser" shy or unable to have surgery, a new choice is available. The U.S. FDA recently approved a new contact wearers can use for up to 30-days without the need for removal.

These new contacts may provide many of the same conveniences of LASIK, mainly that patients wouldn't have to mess with their vision or contacts for at least 30-days at a time.

Some refer to these new lenses as "continuous wear" contact lenses or "super permeable" lenses."

How do 30-Day Lenses Work?
These new lenses are made from a silicone hydrogel. This material allows oxygen to pass through the lens, which allows the lens (and underlying eye) to breathe well. Compared with traditional lenses, the 30-day lenses provide up to seven times more oxygen to the eye as other lenses.

The American Optometric Association's Contact Lens and Cornea Section has offered their approval of the new lenses, which are expected to rise in popularity for the next decade.

Traditional soft lenses are crafted from water-containing plastic or hydrogel ingredients. These parts do not allow sufficient disbursement of oxygen, so oxygen can't pass through the lens and get to the eye. Not the case with the silicone lens. Water and polymer combine to allow oxygen to pass through direct to the eye.

These lenses may also prove more comfortable for people that experience dry eye or other discomfort from traditional contact lenses.

30-Day Contacts An Alternative To LASIK?
The new extended wear lenses are considered very safe for patients interested in long-term eye care but not willing to risk LAISK surgery.

The newer lenses are also more affordable at least initially than lasik, though permanent vision correction may still prove more affordable in the long-term. Studies suggest that 30-day contacts provide as good results as LASIK procedures, correcting vision to 20/20 or better for most patients.

One of the benefits of the contact lenses is they provide sharp vision with no question about the visual outcome. With LASIK there is always the possibility of the need for additional surgeries to compensate for over or under corrections. As surgeons become more skilled and adopt new technologies however, this risk continues to decline. One of the advantages of lenses to surgery is you can change your prescription if you need to in the future. Some patients for example, will develop presbyopia in later years, and may need to change their prescription.

While new advances in LASIK surgery may offer alternatives for patient's with presbyopia, chances are an additional lasik procedure will be needed to correct vision problems like this that develop with age.

Of course, there is also custom LASIK to consider, a form of LASIK that allows surgeons to map a patient's eye to provide the most precise vision correction possible.

How do you know which procedure is best for you? Ultimately the choice is yours. If you are laser shy, why not give 30-day contacts a try until you are confident you can undergo LASIK without fear?

Learn more about choosing between contact lenses and LASIK surgery on our forums!