LASIK vs. Contact Lenses - The Battle Continues

Lasik Contact Lenses For years now surgeons have debated whether LASIK and other laser surgical procedures make more sense for patients than contact lenses. Clearly there is a vast majority of surgeons who believe that laser surgery is very safe and for many, a better choice than contact lenses. Yet despite increasing advances in technology and better outcomes for patients undergoing laser surgery, one fact still exists: contact lenses are still less invasive than laser surgery. But are they worth it?

Contacts Vs. Lasers
Many people believe that contact lenses are safer than laser surgery because they are a non-invasive approach to vision correction. Not so, for some patients laser eye surgery may actually be safer than wearing contact lenses, according to some researchers working with the Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute.

But how can this be? Surgery, including LASIK and other laser surgeries, always come with some risks. These risks include complications like dry eye, infections or under or over correction. Fortunately advances in technology have minimized the impact of these effects on patients.

Careful screening of patients also reduces their risk of serious side effects following LASIK surgery. Patients have an obligation to find a surgeon that has a reputation for performing safe and effective surgeries.

There are however risks also associated with wearing contact lenses that many patients are simply not aware of. For example, some patients get serious infections from wearing their contacts for too long. In the most severe situations, these infections can lead to vision loss. This vision loss may be permanent.

One may argue that patients may also experience vision loss resulting from LASIK surgery. The incidence of patients losing their vision from laser surgery however, isn't as common as you may think.

Still other patients wearing contacts have had them roll back into their bodies, and had to have them physically removed through minor procedures. Some patients are more susceptible to these problems than others. Poor hygiene for example can contribute to problems and infections with contact lenses.

That doesn't mean that contacts are not a good choice for many patients however. Many patients do not qualify for laser surgery. When properly managed, contact lens wearing can be quite safe. Newer contacts reduce many of the risks associated with the older, harder forms of contact lenses.

It is important that patients learn as much as they can about both options from their eye doctor. Working together, they can decide whether contact lenses or LASIK or other laser surgeries are a better option for the patient.

Still, more people wear contact lenses than ever. More than 20 million people currently wear contact lenses. Talk to your doctor to find out if laser surgery may be a better choice for you.

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