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LASIK vs. Contact Lenses

By Andrew Holzman on July 11, 2015

A woman inserting a contact lensIf you wear contact lenses, it is probably because you don’t like the way eyeglasses look or feel. While contact lenses allow you to see clearly at all angles without the need for cumbersome glasses, they come with own set of disadvantages. This leads many contact wearers to research treatment alternatives such as LASIK. LASIK surgery permanently corrects the refractive errors that cause blurry vision for millions of people. Dr. Andrew Holzman performs custom LASIK surgery with the Intralase® laser to produce excellent vision results. To learn more about the benefits of LASIK vs. contact lenses, contact our Washington, DC practice today.

Contact Lenses

Patients can wear soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. Soft contact lenses are used for shorter periods of time, and best suited to patients with myopic or hyperopic vision only. RGP contact lenses last longer, and are well suited to patients with astigmatism or higher order aberrations.

Advantages:

The advantages of contact lenses include:

  • Patients have improved peripheral vision when compared to glasses
  • Patients no longer need to wear glasses
  • The lenses can change the color of the irises

Disadvantages:

The disadvantages of contact lenses include:

  • Patients must take a few minutes to apply them in the morning and take them out at night
  • The lenses must be cleaned every night with a disinfectant solution
  • The lenses must be stored properly at night
  • Contact lenses increase the risk of eye infection, especially if the lenses are not cleaned or stored properly, or the hands aren’t washed before application
  • They can irritate the eyes
  • They can become dislodged, causing discomfort
  • Patients must regularly order replacement lenses, which increases the lifetime cost of treatment

LASIK

With LASIK surgery, Dr. Holzman carefully reshapes the cornea using a computer-guided excimer laser. By reshaping a steep, flat, or sphere-shaped cornea, we can redirect light so it reflects directly off the retina.

Advantages:

The advantages of LASIK include:

  • It reduces or eliminates the need for contact lenses or glasses
  • Vision improvement is noticeable within one day of surgery
  • Most patients achieve 20/20 vision or better
  • No need to worry about contacts becoming dislodged when playing sports
  • The procedure is associated with a low risk of complications and high success rate
  • Patients heal from surgery within a few days
  • The actual procedure takes less than five minutes per eye

Disadvantages:

The disadvantages of LASIK include:

  • As a surgical procedure, LASIK is associated with a risk of complications, such as infection and flap problems; however, when LASIK is performed by Dr. Holzman, these risks are further reduced and extremely rare
  • The LASIK procedure requires laser contact with the cornea, which makes some patients apprehensive about surgery
  • The initial cost of surgery may seem high, but since it offers permanent results, the cost is a one-time fee
  • Patients may experience some mild side effects, such as discomfort, dry eye, and sensitivity to light, for a few days after treatment

To schedule a LASIK consultation and find out if the procedure is right for you, contact our practice today.

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