When it comes to vision correction, patients have a number of options available to them. Three of the most popular treatments for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism include eyeglasses, contact lenses, and LASIK. While eyeglasses and contact lenses are more widely used, millions of patients have turned to LASIK surgery to permanently correct the refractive errors that cause blurry vision. At Primary Eye Care Associates, Dr. Steven Chander, an experienced optometrist, compares LASIK vs. glasses and contact lenses. Contact our Chicago practice today to find out which of these vision correction solutions is best suited to your needs.
Eyeglasses are, by far, the most commonly used vision correction treatment. Billions of people use glasses for refractive errors, as well as a number of other conditions, such as presbyopia and cataracts. Eyeglasses offer a number of benefits to patients. They are a low-cost vision correction solution, require little maintenance, and can be easily slipped on when needed. However, there are also some disadvantages of glasses. They are often misplaced or lost, are susceptible to damage if someone accidentally steps or sits on them, and some patients do not like the way glasses look or feel.
Contact lenses offer similar vision correction results to glasses. These thin lenses are placed in the eye, covering the pupil and iris. They correct refractive errors, are reasonably priced, and come in a range of colors so patients can change the shade of their irises. Many patients prefer contact lenses because they eliminate the need for cumbersome eyeglasses. However, contact lenses are associated with some downsides as well. It takes a bit more time to apply, remove, and clean contact lenses. Some patients also experience some discomfort when wearing contacts. For some, this dry or gritty sensation can be relieved with eye drops. Patients who desire less daily maintenance and a more comfortable long-term treatment option are often better suited to glasses or LASIK.
LASIK surgery was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999. Since then, millions of patients have undergone surgery to correct their refractive errors. During LASIK surgery, the shape of the cornea is permanently altered. This enables surgeons to create the ideal corneal shape, producing clear vision because light is able to focus directly on the retina. The great benefit of LASIK is that patients experience significantly improved vision the morning after surgery. In many cases, patients no longer require glasses and contact lenses. However, there are some disadvantages of the procedure that deter patients from seeking treatment. First, LASIK is a surgical procedure, and many patients are uncomfortable with the idea of having surgery performed on the eyes. Second, the total cost of LASIK surgery is more than the cost of eyeglasses or a box of contact lenses. However, over time, the cost of each treatment option evens out.
If you are trying to decide if glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK is right for you, contact our practice today. Dr. Chander will review your options with you and determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK surgery.