February 7, 2019

LASIK vs Contacts: Weighing the Costs

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Read the full NZ Herald article here

When it comes to laser eye surgery, many people are understandably hesitant – even the basic concept can seem intimidating. Most people start by considering other corrective options, such as glasses or contacts, but there are a number of lesser-known factors to take into consideration.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the pros and cons of your options, so you have all the information you need to make the right choice.

Contact Lenses

First off, let’s take a look at contacts.

Contact lenses are named such because they’re worn in ‘contact’ with your eye. They are small lenses that can help mitigate vision problems, such as short and long-sightedness, and astigmatism. As opposed to LASIK, contacts are considered a temporary solution – you’re required to keep buying replacements. Contacts also require daily upkeep and cleaning.

Contacts do have some major benefits over glasses – they provide a wider field of view, they give you much more freedom to be active outdoors, and they are a great alternative for those who don’t want to change their image to include glasses. It’s worth noting that these benefits are also offered by laser eye surgery, with the added bonus that laser eye surgery provides these advantages constantly.

On the other hand, contacts also have drawbacks for people to consider. First, you need to adjust to the process of putting them in and taking them out, which can be an ordeal for some. There’s also the risk of infection if you leave your contacts uncleaned regularly. Beyond these, there are a few minor difficulties that tend to be overlooked: contacts can’t be worn in the shower or to bed, they can be easy to lose, and you’ll need to keep spare lenses and cleaning fluid on you at all times if you plan to wear them out.

Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery, on the other hand, is a much more permanent form of vision correction that can be used to treat a number of conditions, including all those that contacts can treat. Typically, the patient’s cornea is reshaped by the laser, increasing the eye’s aptitude for focusing by itself. This has been known to eliminate the need for glasses and contacts from some patients entirely.

Laser eye surgery carries all the same advantages as other treatments, and the only drawback that most people find while researching it is the cost. That said, laser eye surgery often works out cheaper than contacts from a long-term perspective, as you don’t have to pay for it more than once, whereas a years’ worth of contact lenses could set you back by more than the cost of the surgery.

Are there other options?

There are! Laser eye surgery isn’t the best fit for everyone - if you have a high prescription, thin corneas, or chronically dry eyes, Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs) may be a third option for you.

ICLs are flexible plastic lenses, implanted via ICL surgery, which augment your natural lens and help correct your vision. They are practically invisible and, once implanted, are designed to continue to do their job for decades. Many patients also like the idea that ICLs are reversible/removable if needed.

Want more advice?

If you’re interested in laser eye treatment, or want to ask about alternative treatments like the implantable contact lens, talk to the expert team here at re:vision – we’ll book you in for a free 45-minute assessment, valued at $580! Contact us today, so we can help you start seeing a brighter future.


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