Are Contacts Safe Long-Term?  

Contacts can carry risks if hygiene practices are not strictly followed and long-term use of contacts can also lead to discomfort and dry eyes. On the other hand, LASIK has emerged as a superior safe alternative to contact lenses for many individuals.

Woman inserting contact lens

Contact lenses are a popular choice for vision correction, offering convenience and improved aesthetics over traditional glasses. Millions of people worldwide use contact lenses daily, enjoying the freedom they provide. However, you may ask yourself: are contacts safe for long-term use? Despite their popularity, contact lenses come with inherent risks and potential complications that should not be overlooked. Lets dive into the benefits and risks of contacts and review a safer option for your vision needs.

Understanding Contact Lenses: Benefits and Risks 

The Benefits of Contact Lenses 

  • Improved Visual Acuity: Contacts conform to the curvature of your eye, providing a wider field of view and reducing distortions compared to glasses. 
  • Convenience: They are ideal for active lifestyles, allowing unrestricted movement without the risk of glasses falling off. 
  • Temporary Aesthetic Appeal: Contacts eliminate the need for frames temporarily, offering a more natural look and the option to change eye color with colored lenses. 

Potential Risks of Contact Lenses

  • Eye Infections: Improper hygiene and extended wear can lead to serious eye infections, including keratitis, which can result in vision loss if not treated promptly. 
  • Dry Eye Syndrome: Contact lenses can reduce the amount of oxygen reaching your eyes, leading to dryness and discomfort.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may develop allergic reactions to the contact lens material or cleaning solutions. 
  • Corneal Abrasions: Poorly fitting lenses or mishandling can cause scratches on the cornea, leading to pain and increased infection risk. 

LASIK: A Superior Alternative to Contact Lenses 

Contacts can carry risks if hygiene practices are not strictly followed and long-term use of contacts can also lead to discomfort and dry eyes. On the other hand, LASIK is considered very safe with minimal risk of complications, particularly when performed by experienced surgeons. LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) has emerged as a superior alternative to contact lenses for many individuals. This laser eye surgery offers a permanent solution to correct vision issues such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. 

 The Benefits of LASIK 

  • Permanent Vision Correction: Unlike contact lenses, LASIK offers a permanent solution, significantly reducing or eliminating the need for corrective eyewear. 
  • Quick Recovery: Most patients experience improved vision within 24 hours and can resume normal activities shortly after the procedure. 
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: LASIK can improve your overall quality of life, providing the freedom from daily maintenance associated with contact lenses. 
  • Safety and Efficacy: Advances in technology have made LASIK safer and more effective, with a high success rate and minimal complications. 

The LASIK Procedure: What to Expect 

  1. Consultation and Evaluation: The process begins with a comprehensive eye examination to determine if you are a suitable candidate for LASIK. Your eye doctor will assess your vision, eye health, and corneal thickness. 
  2. Pre-Procedure Preparation: On the day of the surgery, you will receive numbing eye drops to ensure a painless experience. The surgeon will use a femtosecond laser to create a thin flap on the cornea. 
  3. Reshaping the Cornea: A second laser, the excimer laser, reshapes the underlying corneal tissue to correct vision. The flap is then repositioned, acting as a natural bandage. 
  4. Post-Procedure Care: After the surgery, you will need to follow post-operative care instructions to ensure proper healing. This may include using prescribed eye drops and avoiding strenuous activities for a minimal period of time. 
Here is LASIK surgeon, Dr. George Joseph, walking a patient through their LASIK procedure.

Comparing Costs: Contacts vs. LASIK 

While LASIK has a higher upfront cost compared to contact lenses, it can be more cost-effective in the long run. The ongoing expenses of contact lenses, including cleaning solutions and regular replacements, can add up over the years. LASIK eliminates these recurring costs, making it a more economical option for many people. 

Financial Considerations 

  • Initial Investment

  • Payment Options

  • Savings Over Time

Initial Investment

Initial Investment

The cost of LASIK typically ranges from $2,000 up to $4,000 per eye, depending on the surgeon’s expertise and the technology used.

Payment Options

Payment Options

There are many ways to afford LASIK. Many people finance their procedures, at a monthly cost that has been compared to a utility bill. In addition, some choose to put the balance on a rewards-bearing credit card for points, miles, etc.

Savings Over Time

Savings Over Time

Consider the annual cost of glasses, contacts, eye exams and supplies. LASIK can pay for itself within a few years, resulting in significant long-term savings.

Safety and Effectiveness of Contacts and LASIK 

When weighing the safety and effectiveness of contact lenses against LASIK, it is important to consider the long-term implications for your eye health. Choosing between contact lenses and LASIK ultimately depends on your lifestyle, budget, and vision goals. While contact lenses offer a non-surgical solution with flexibility, LASIK provides a permanent correction that can enhance your quality of life. 

Key Considerations 

  • Lifestyle Needs: If you lead an active lifestyle and desire freedom from daily lens maintenance, LASIK might be the better option. 
  • Long-Term Vision Health: Consider the long-term impact on your eye health and the potential risks associated with prolonged contact lens use. 
  • Financial Investment: Weigh the initial cost of LASIK against the cumulative expenses of contact lenses over time. 

Embracing Clear Vision with LASIK 

Both contact lenses and LASIK offer viable solutions for vision correction, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. However, for those seeking a safe long-term, hassle-free solution, LASIK stands out as the superior choice. By opting for LASIK, you can enjoy the benefits of clear vision without the ongoing maintenance and risks associated with contact lenses.

Take the first step towards better vision by scheduling a free LASIK consultation today!

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