Recent Study Finds Lasik Vision Correction Safer Than Contact Lenses
The widely held belief that wearing contact lenses is safer than having laser vision correction is being challenged. A recent study indicates for the first time that LASIK is safer than contact lenses.
Based on their review of multiple studies, ophthalmologist William Mathers, M.D., and colleagues found a greater chance of suffering vision loss from contact lenses than from laser vision correction (LASIK). Their findings were reported in a letter published in the journal “Archives of Ophthalmology.”
The Oregon researchers reviewed several large studies and concluded that daily contact lens wearers have a one in 100 chance of developing serious lens- related eye infection over 30 years of use, and a one in 2,000 chance of suffering significant vision loss as a result. The study confirms that only one in 10,000 patients risk significant vision loss due to complications from LASIK, making LASIK the safest elective procedure performed today.
As technologies continue to evolve, the risk of laser vision correction continues to diminish. In 2001, the All- Laser, No-Blade method was introduced which dramatically decreased flap complications making All-Laser LASIK safer. Dr. Faulkner was an early adapter and the first LASIK surgeon in Hawaii to bring this technology to the islands. In 2005, Dr. Faulkner introduced Custom Cornea LASIK which not only improved vision, but also virtually eliminated night glare and halos, one of the early complaints of LASIK patients.
Between 20 and 25 million people in the United States wear contact lenses; about a million Americans undergo laser surgery to correct vision problems each year. Direct comparisons of the risks vs. benefits of contacts and LASIK have been difficult because surgical complications are immediate and the risks associated with contact lenses accumulates over several years.
The risk of wearing contacts is greater when the lenses are used improperly, such as sleeping in them, using tap water to store them, or even not washing your hands before putting them in. Infections can occur even when contact lens wearers do everything right.
“One should not assume that contact lenses are safer than LASIK,” explains Dr. Faulkner. “It may have been true years ago, but for the average person this is certainly not the case anymore. Contact lens wearers are prone to serious infections.”
If you wear contact lenses and have considered LASIK surgery, consider this – LASIK will pay for itself in about 4 years (not to mention it’s tax deductible). Contact lens wearers have monthly costs for lenses and solution, in addition to the expense of yearly eye exams and backup prescription glass- es. This doesn’t include an emergency visit to the doctor if you develop an eye irritation or infection from wearing contacts. To make LASIK affordable and convenient for every budget we offer flexible financing plans, such as 0% interest for 24 months.