Contacts vs Glasses vs LASIK: What Is the Best Choice?

Contacts vs Glasses vs LASIK: What Is the Best Choice?

October 26, 2022

Table of Content

Anyone with refractive issues and vision problems are likely familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of glasses. Wearing corrective lenses all day every day is a nuisance to some, a necessary evil to others, and in most cases, just something people get used to.

True, glasses come in lots of styles and can be considered a fashion accessory, which has made wearing them less problematic for some people. However, a lifetime of depending on glasses can take its toll. For one, your vision with eyeglasses will never be as “complete” as good vision without glasses. To address this concern, more people are considering the alternatives and thinking about the glasses vs LASIK debate, and the LASIK vs contacts question.

If you wear glasses every day, this piece will help you evaluate your own situation and see if there are better options out there for you. LASIK surgery is more accessible than ever before, with topnotch doctors and eye surgeons available in Chicago or your local area to help you.

Before you take the leap, though, let’s take a look at the cost, the experience, and the comfort of the options available to you.

Cost

Cost

While considering the cost of lasik vs glasses or contacts, it is important to keep several factors in mind. Eye glasses can be expensive, especially if you opt for more stylish designer frames. The cost of the lenses can also get pricey, once you add in anti-reflective coating or bifocal lenses. The more variables involved the more expensive the glasses can become. The cost of contact lenses can add up too. The average user will require about 10 boxes of lenses per year, and the cost of those lenses will depend on whether you have a straight forward prescription or a more complex prescription such as astigmatism. Lasik eye surgery is a unique and persuasive solution. Lasik eye surgery, which typically only needs to be performed once, can save you thousands of dollars over the span of a lifetime. 

LASIK eye surgery is an interesting and compelling solution. This surgery, which only needs to be performed once in most patients, can save you thousands of dollars – tens of thousands of dollars, even – over the span of a lifetime. If you have laser eye surgery in your 30s, you could save money every year on the cost of contacts and glasses for roughly the next 50 years or more. Those concerned about the cost of LASIK will be glad to know that reputable eye doctors offer competitive rates and often finance options to help manage the cost over a brief period of time.

Lifestyle

Some people are comfortable wearing glasses, they do not hinder their lifestyle or activities. However many people experience problems wearing glasses while trying to enjoy sports, exercising, and even bathing can be a challenge. Glasses can be uncomfortable on the face, fog up when it gets cold, or pinch the ears. Contact lenses will eliminate some of those concerns but, can still cause annoyance when swimming or playing contact sports. Contacts can also pose a risk of infection, if not cared for properly on a daily basis. Refractive eye surgery is the only option that offers total freedom. You do not have to worry about breaking your glasses, or losing contact while participating in sports. You will no longer have to remember to order new contacts or repair broken glasses. When considering lasik vs contacts or glasses, lasik is definitely a liberating choice. You'll be surprised how quickly you are able to get out and enjoy all your favorite activities, without worrying about your visual acuity.

Comfort and Convenience

Comfort and Convenience

As far as comfort and convenience go, glasses can pose a comfort issue to some people. Lighter frames may help with discomfort but will add to the cost of the glasses and are often less sturdy and more breakable. Lighter frames tend to slip more while working out, and can easily fall off while running or jogging. Contact lenses also come with a substantial level of inconvenience. Having to regularly order new boxes, do daily cleaning routines, and remember to remove them every night can be a nuisance. When you're evaluating contacts vs glasses, bear in mind that Lasik will solve all of these inconveniences, allowing you to live your life without the discomfort of glasses or the inconvenience of contact lenses. 

Eye Strain

Whether you wear contacts or glasses, you are likely to suffer from some level of eye strain. One of the biggest contributors to eye strain is the use of computer screens and digital devices. In this day in age, those can be hard situations to avoid. Symptoms can include vision stress, eye pain, and dry eyes. Since LASIK cures your refractive error and your vision no longer needs to be manipulated with contacts or glasses, you can significantly reduce your level of eye strain and fatigue.

Risk

It is common for people to have anxiety about having refractive eye surgery or LASIK. Many individuals will assume that procedures such as LASIK would be riskier than wearing contacts for example. While both carry a small amount of risk for complications by way of infection, it's important to compare the effects of each. If contact lens user neglects to follow the proper cleaning and maintenance protocol, they may put themselves at risk for eye infections such as conjunctivitis. In rare cases, bacterial conjunctivitis can occur, which could potentially result in vision loss. These threats of infection are present with each use of contact lenses. Many assume that refractive eye surgery would be riskier than wearing contacts but, with LASIK there is a one-time risk, rather than the continual risk that contact lens users experience. Keep in mind that millions of LASIK procedures have been performed worldwide. Prior to surgery, a LASIK consultation will determine if you are a good candidate for surgery, and complex pre-operative testing will set the foundation for an accurate and reliable surgical procedure. This along with the use of the most up to date technology, allows doctors to provide superior results while maintaining the highest level of safety.

Contact Lenses Pros and Cons

Contact Lenses Pros and Cons

If you feel contact lenses are better than glasses, take a look a some of the pros and cons of contacts lenses:

Pros:

  • Eliminates the need to wear glasses and are invisible
  • Improves side or peripheral vision compared to glasses
  • Easier to participate in sports.

Cons of Contacts:

  • Regularly replacing contacts lenses can be expensive
  • Maintenance can be complicated, requiring daily disinfection
  • Easy to lose or damage a lens
  • Discomfort taking the lenses in and out daily
  • Halos or blurring around lights

Glasses Pros and Cons

Glasses Pros and Cons

Could glasses be better than contacts? Let's have a look:

Pros of Glasses:

  • Easy to take off and on
  • Can be a fashion statement
  • Zero side effects, as they do not touch the eye
  • Lenses can be changed if your prescription changes.

Glasses Cons:

  • Are costly and lenses need to be replaced often yearly
  • Inconvenient for participation in sports
  • Easily lost or broken
  • Uncomfortable while wearing
  • Blurry peripheral vision.

LASIK Pros and Cons

If you are ready to consider an alternative to glasses and contacts, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of LASIK:

LASIK Pros:

  • Cures refractive errors
  • No daily maintenance is required
  • One surgery can fix your problems for decades
  • More cost-effective over the course of a lifetime.

Cons of LASIK:

  • Typically more expensive in the short-term
  • Requires surgery
  • Temporary mild side effects following the surgery

Does LASIK Correct Astigmatism Better than Glasses or Contact Lenses?

Does LASIK Correct Astigmatism Better than Glasses or Contact Lenses?

In order to understand if glasses, contacts or LASIK is best suited to correct astigmatism, it's important to understand the nature of astigmatism, and how it can be corrected. Astigmatism is a refractive error of the eye, related to the shape of the cornea, the front “window” of the eye. A normally shaped cornea has a curvature that is spherical, like the shape of a basketball. If the cornea is shaped more like a football, it has astigmatism.

Glasses vs contacts as a treatment for astigmatism will use corrective lenses to cancel out the abnormal shape of the eye. For this reason, the frame of the glasses or the fit of the contacts must be very precise, to correct for the exact astigmatism of the eye. Any deviation will cause blurred or fluctuating vision. Lasik, on the other hand, will correct astigmatism by reshaping the cornea, eliminating the irregular shape of the cornea permanently. As a result, patients with astigmatism frequently notice their vision is better after LASIK than it ever was with contacts or glasses. The newest technology used to correct astigmatism has allowed for even greater levels to be treated, making LASIK more accessible to more and more people.

Contacts vs. Glasses vs. LASIK for treating Farsightedness

If you have farsightedness, you have three options to choose from when contemplating how to treat it. You could use glasses, or contact lenses, or have LASIK eye surgery. Glasses are the least invasive of the three, but are often a pain to deal with, and are very inconvenient for active individuals. Contacts sit directly on the eyes and require replacement at regular intervals, daily maintenance, and are not suitable for everyone. LASIK is a surgical procedure that can eliminate or reduce the need for contacts or glasses. LASIK provides a permanent change to the eye. LASIK is a same-day procedure with a relatively fast recovery time. Generally, the vision improves almost immediately. Individuals who choose to treat their farsightedness with LASIK can enjoy quality vision in all their activities without the nuisance of glasses or the inconvenience of contact lenses.

Contacts vs Glasses vs LASIK: What to Choose?

When contemplating if LASIK is better than contacts or glasses, the best advice will be given by your eye doctor, but the evidence is clear, LASIK is a convenient, long term solution to a wide range of refractive errors. When performed by an experienced expert eye doctors, LASIK surgery can be done safely and quickly with minimal risk involved. After the initial healing period following the surgery, it will be as if you never had any refractive eye problems. You can live your life as you please, without the inconvenience of glasses or contacts.

To find out more about our pioneering LASIK solutions check out our informative testimonials and schedule an initial consultation. You can book your appointment online or give one of our team members a call at (312) 444-1111 to schedule over the phone.

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Dr. Colman R. Kraff

Committed to advancing new technologies in the field of ophthalmology, Dr. Colman Kraff helped to pioneer laser vision correction. In February of 1991, as part of a five-site, U.S., FDA clinical trial team, Dr. Kraff successfully performed the first excimer laser procedures in the Chicagoland area using the VISX Excimer Laser.

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5

Couldn't have asked for a better Lasik experience. Professional staff, excellent post-op care with the surgeon present at every appointment. Would highly recommend to anyone thinking about Lasik!

S Clark
October 15, 2020
5

I had LASIK with Dr. Colman Kraff over 10 years ago. Just went in for my check-up and still perfect vision. I do not know why I waited so long to have LASIK. It is the best money I have ever spent.

Mark Bryant
January 15, 2021
5

My experience at Kraff Eye was wonderful! I've been there 3 times in the last week for my PRK surgery and follow up appointments. They are patient kind and want to give you the best experience possible. Dr. Kraff is calm and helps you stay relaxed before, during and after your surgery. I'm happy with my experience and would highly recommend them for your vision correction surgery.

Sarah Lill
January 15, 2020
5

I loved working with the Kraff Eye Institute for my Lasik surgery. I had horrible eye-sight. I went from a -8 and -7 contact prescription to perfect vision! I can't believe it. Highly recommend them.

Courtney Rioux
February 1, 2019
5

Dr. Kraff was awesome. The staff walked me through my LASIK procedure and made me feel at ease. It’s been one day with perfect vision and I’m very happy with the results!

Mary Krzyzanowski
March 9, 2018