Lasik eye surgery, approved by the FDA in 1996, has been the holy grail of corrective eye surgery. It has also proved to be quite expensive.
However, using contact lenses can certainly add up too.
So the question remains: Is Lasik eye surgery worth it with the lofty investment involved, in comparison to using contacts over time? We will take an objective look at the question.
Lasik Eye Surgery
Lasik eye doctors charge an average of $4.500 for both eyes. Your location and other factors will certainly make a difference as to whether the fees would be higher or possibly lower.
Even at the average, it is a high sum that many people cannot afford.
Here is something interesting, though. The success rate for Lasik eye surgery – that is, the successful achievement of normal, 20/20 vision – is a remarkable 96%.
That statistic could be enough to prompt people of limited means to work hard and save for the investment.
Finally, Lasik eye surgery is a “permanent” procedure, but only in a relative sense. This does not mean that your eyes will be permanently corrected until the day you die.
Still, you can’t blame Lasik for this. The human body’s aging process may still work on your newly-corrected vision over time.
In other words, after 10-20 years, you may need reading glasses.
All the same, the huge investment may justify the return – to have excellent vision for years and maybe decades to come, without some form of corrective lenses.
As amazing as Lasik has proved to be, it still carries risks:
- If not enough tissue is removed, you won’t get the full corrective effect.
- If too much is removed, it can be worse than no correction.
- There is also a rare risk of partial vision loss.
- Dry eyes and double vision are two temporary side effects.
Figuring the cost of contacts over 10 years poses a challenge, since several things can impact the price.
The basic annual cost of lenses only amounts to about $260. Over 10 years, that comes to $2,600.
If you have lenses to correct astigmatism or presbyopia, your 10-year cost will be $3,300.
Interestingly, Lasik is said to correct both of these eye disorders.
So according to these estimates, using contacts is less expensive over 10 years than a one-time hefty investment for Lasik surgery.
However, you would still have to deal with the inconvenience of buying them and putting them in.
Lasik Eye Surgery – Is It Worth It?
If you examine it purely from an economic point of view, most people would say no. However, it is not that simple.
Assuming you can afford the surgery, what would it be worth to you to have a chance to have 20/20 vision again for another 10-20 years, without glasses or contact lenses? That alone is worth the investment.
Factoring in the risks, we can see that, even with a 96% success rate, there is no 100% guarantee of success.
In the end, is having Lasik eye surgery worth all the money? The answer lies in the eyes of the beholder. (Or in this case, in the beholder’s wallet.)
Now, if there are any unknown ophthalmological terms used in this article, check this glossary to better understand them. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.