Difference Between Laser Eye Surgery and Contact Lens Use?

Difference Between Laser Eye Surgery and Contact Lens Use?

If you don’t like wearing glasses, the chances are that either you have already started wearing contact lenses or want to switch to them soon. Surely contact lenses make for a far superior visual aid than eyeglasses. But with today’s medical advancements, laser eye surgery is a popular choice for vision correction.

Here at Bausch+Lomb, we want to help you find the right eyecare option. In line with the same, here are some possible advantages and disadvantages of both laser eye surgery and contact lenses below.

Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery is a method of vision correction that can correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and also astigmatism[1]. Laser surgeries use laser technology to reshape the cornea of an eye and thus improve its focusing ability. With laser surgery, you get long-term vision correction.

Advantages Of Laser Eye Surgery:

Getting a laser surgery performed from an ophthalmologist offers many benefits, some of them are:

1. Long-Term Eyecare Solution

While eyeglasses and contact lenses require you to change them regularly, laser eye surgery offers you more of a long-term solution as any changes made in the eyes will be permanent. Unlike glasses or contact lenses, laser surgery doesn’t include any regular wear and care regime. Although your vision may change naturally over time due to age and health factors.

2. Increased Comfort and Freedom

If you are regular to wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses, you must know that it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Whereas with laser eye surgery, you don’t need to wear glasses or contact lenses as your vision error has been rectified during the operation.

You also won’t have any problem with activities such as swimming, high-dynamic sports or sauna steam.

Possible Disadvantages of Laser Eye Surgery

While the advantages of laser surgery make them sound great, several potential risks come with it[2]. So, if you’re planning to get a laser eye surgery performed, you must know the following risks:

1. Vision Might Not Be Entirely Corrected After The Surgery

There’s no doubt that laser eye surgery can significantly improve your vision, but for some cases, additional visual aid such as a prescribed eyeglass may still be needed. In a minority of cases[3], once the eyes heal after the procedure, some vision issues may return.

2. Glares/Halo Effect

After laser surgery, you might experience slight to severe glares, flashes or a Halo like effect in your vision[4]. Over a few weeks after the surgery, you will notice that the glares reduce and continue to improve over the months.

3. Flap Problems

In laser eye surgeries such as LASIK, which involves a flap creation in the eye’s cornea, there can be rare instances where corneal contour changes contribute to symptoms of ocular surface disease[5]. Such a situation would require further treatment. Laser surgery is a critical procedure, and there is always some risk that might come with it.

4. Cost of Laser Eye Surgery

While laser surgery can effectively correct multiple eye disorders [6], it is pretty expensive and requires aftercare and regular check-ups.

For something as sensitive as your eyes, you must opt for a laser surgery from a reputed and trusted ophthalmologist. However, be prepared for paying a considerable sum as the different costs and charges together make for a significant amount.

Contact lenses: Different Corrective Options

Contact lenses are one of the most preferred forms of visual aids. With the latest advancements and innovations in contact lenses materials, wearing contact lenses today feels remarkably natural and comfortable[7].

Compared to laser surgery, contact lenses are a safer (as it does not require any kind of eye surgery) and an affordable option for correcting vision disorders.

[8]Contact lenses can correct several vision problems, including:

  • Long-sightedness
  • Short-sightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia

Some Advantages of Wearing Contact Lense

1. Alternative to Eyeglasses and Laser Eye Surgery

If you have been using eyeglasses to improve your vision, you can try wearing contact lenses for a while for the many benefits they provide. It’s also super easy to start wearing contact lenses as you just need to consult with your eye care specialist and find a suitable contact lens.

Unlike laser eye surgery, with contact lenses, you don’t need to wait up to six months to recover your vision[9]. However, when you start wearing contact lenses, you might take a few days to adjust to the new, improved eyesight.

2. Improved Peripheral Vision

Usually, all types of contact lenses are compact and thin, and they fit in your eyes to provide a better field of view as compared to eyeglasses. Contact lenses conform (fit) to the curvature of your eyes, unlike sturdy frames disrupting your line of vision.

Additionally, many types of contact lenses may prove to be a good option for those who don’t meet the eligibility for laser eye surgery. [10]

3. Less risk of complications

Unlike laser eye surgery, you don’t require much aftercare if you consider wearing contact lenses. And, to keep wearing contact lenses safely, all you need to do is invest a little bit of time in following daily cleaning and care routine.

Also, laser eye surgery doesn’t always ensure your vision will improve 100%, and you might have to use additional visual aids. Whereas wearing contact lenses and regularly following a simple cleaning routine ensures that you face no eye complications.

Possible Disadvantages of Contact Lenses

1. Wearing Lenses Requires Practice

Wearing contact lenses correctly takes a few days of practice as you will have to put them in your eyes with utmost care. Although, in just a few days of training, you will have no problem putting in and removing your contact lenses.

2. May Sometimes Cause Inconvenience

Contact lenses do support an active lifestyle. However, it would help if you kept in mind the dos’s and don’ts related to wearing contact lenses safely. [11].

Unlike laser eye surgery, you won’t be able to perform all activities, including swimming, or high-dynamic sports, or sauna[12], while wearing contact lenses.

Also, it is recommended that you remove your contact lenses if it is raining, as when contact lenses are exposed to water, they can disintegrate and lead to protein build-up in the eyes[13]. Such build-ups may lead to eye irritation and even infections.

Way Forward with Bausch+Lomb

At Bausch+Lomb, we aim to offer improved and innovative vision solutions with our extensive range of precisely designed contact lenses for various vision problems. Explore Bausch+Lomb’s collection of contact lenses and experience enhanced vision and comfort while keeping your eyes healthy.

After carefully analyzing the difference between the benefits of laser eye surgery and contact lens use, you can consult with your eye care specialist about both options. If you’d prefer wearing contact lenses, make sure you also consider the wearing time(modality) of the contact lenses.

You will discover different types of contact lenses - re-usable or daily disposable contact lenses. The re-usable contact lenses come in modalities of annual lenses and monthly disposable contact lenses, which require you to follow a lens cleaning routine regularly strictly.

Wearing contact lenses is one of the most comfortable ways to correct vision disorders. Consult with your eye care specialist to know more about the different types of contact lenses that may suit you. Begin your journey towards a more precise vision today!

Sources:
[1] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/lasik
[2] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/facts-about-lasik-complications
[3] https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/news/20191220/twenty-years-later-lasik-has-its-pros-and-cons
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1954820/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579556/
[6] https://healthblog.uofmhealth.org/eye-health/pros-and-cons-of-lasik-are-risks-worth-cost
[7] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/contact-lenses/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-various-types-of-contact-lenses
[8] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/glasses-contacts/contact-lens-102
[9] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/laser-surgery-recovery
[10] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-dry-eye
[11] https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/water-and-contact-lenses.html
[12] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/swimming-contacts-your-eyes
[13] https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/contact-lenses/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-various-types-of-contact-lenses

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