- Financial benefits- Initially, LASIK can appear quite costly but, when all costs are factored in, LASIK actually is more of an economical solution to correcting vision issues long term. When the cost of contact lenses is figured over a period of time, it is easy to see how fast the price tag can build. In fact, continuing with contacts as an alternative to undergoing a permanent vision-correcting solution such as LASIK has been precisely compared to renting instead of purchasing a house. Effectively, you are throwing money into something every month without reaping the benefits of a long-term investment. Investing in LASIK, like a house, pays off in the long run. The typical contact lens patient pays out between $75-100 a month. This means that in 10 years, you could easily run through an upwards of $10,000 in contact lenses, optometrist appointments, glasses and cleaning & sterilization supplies. Once the cost has been calculated, it is simple to see how reasonable LASIK eye surgery truly is.
- Happier eyes- Contact lenses can worsen or be the source of many eye problems such as red, itchy, sore, dry eyes or allergies. Eyes can, eventually, become intolerant to contact lenses which results in the inability to wear them. Also, losing or tearing contacts are always a fear for those who frequently wear them. Extended contact lens usage is also associated with a number of risks
- Night Vision- Most LASIK patients say that their main motivation for undergoing LASIK was to gain the ability to see adequately in the middle of the night. The capability to see your surroundings in the dark is a luxury to many eyeglass or contact lens wearers who are tired of stumbling blindly through the dark to the bathroom at 3 a.m.
- Sports- Sports, especially water sports are constantly a threat for contact lens wearers. Eye protection such as goggles are frequently needed in order to avoid losing contacts but they can be cumbersome, awkward and impractical for certain activities. After having LASIK, you will be able to take part in any sport without worry.
- Worry-free- There is the constant threat of losing a contact lens and experiencing a sudden decrease in vision. This can be troublesome when watching television or exercising but can be extremely hazardous when driving a car.
- Easier traveling- Traveling with contact lenses and all accessories that go along with them is, without a doubt, an added burden. Packing an adequate amount of cleaning fluid, rewetting eye drops, spare contact lenses and cases can consume a considerable amount of space in your luggage. Also, there is always the chance of losing or tearing your contact which will leave you unable to see clearly.
- Better vision- Many patients are delighted to discover that their vision is actually better after LASIK than it was with their best pair of glasses or contact lenses. This is due to the inability for contacts to correct vision in the same way that LASIK does.
Before undergoing any surgical procedure it is a wise idea to discuss all of the potential benefits, side effects, and risks with your doctor or surgery facility. This is just as true with LASIK eye surgery as it is with any other procedure as visual acuity can have a great impact on a person’s perceived quality of life. Each candidate must be individually assessed based on their unique general and optical health as well as their expectations and understanding of the risks involved.
There are many questions you should ask your surgeon when considering a LASIK treatment in order to make sure you are making an informed decision:
1. Is my prescription within the approved range?
LASIK treatments are specifically approved by the FDA for treatment of near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism within specific ranges. Severe refractive error increases the likelihood that a secondary treatment will be required.
Is my eyesight sufficiently stable for LASIK treatment?
This is crucial for accurate measurements and thus accurate treatment. Stability is determined by checking the prescription in order to identify any fluctuations in refractive error.
Are my lifestyle choices compatible with LASIK treatments?
This can cover concerns related to work, family life, and sports and recreation activities. It is important to consider your plans and desires for the future as well. LASIK procedures carry a small but lifelong risk of flap dislocation if significant trauma occurs to the eye area. For this reason, those involved in contact sports such as boxing, martial arts, and wrestling might not be good candidates for LASIK and may benefit from a different type of refractive eye surgery such as PRK.
What results should I expect? What are the best and worst case scenarios? What are the most common side effects?
In order to make an informed decision, the prospective patient must have a full understanding of what to expect from their procedure from long-term results to side effects to recovery time and potential complications.
How long is the recovery period?
You may need to plan ahead and make adjustments to your work and home life in order to accommodate the requirements of the healing period. You may be required to avoid certain activities or environments during the healing process.
How should I prepare for surgery?
If you wear contact lenses you will be instructed to stop wearing them for a specific period of time leading up to the preoperative visit and surgery. This is because contact lenses can change the shape of the cornea resulting in inaccurate measurements prior to surgery. The length of time for which you will need to stop wearing contacts before your procedure will be determined by your surgeon based on the type of contacts.