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.
Eyeglasses are expensive. If you opt for designer frames to offset the inconvenience of wearing them every day, your frames may set you back $500 or sometimes more. Then, there’s the added cost of the lenses, the anti-reflective coatings, the protective coatings to prevent scratches, and even the cost of the bifocal lenses.
The more variables involved, the more expensive the glasses may be. According to Consumer Reports, the average median cost that you’ll pay up-front to an optician for a new pair of glasses is $369.
It is advised that people with eyeglasses get an eye exam every 1 to 2 years, too, meaning you may need to pay extra to have lenses adjusted by the time your next eye exam comes along…if you haven’t already decided you want to wear a new style!
Contact lenses can be pricey too. The average user will require around 10 boxes of lenses per year, and the cost of those lenses depends on whether you have a minor prescription or something more complicated like astigmatism. Your annual cost may be as low as $220 if you replace your lenses every two weeks, or as high as $700.
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.
If you’re comfortable wearing glasses, then it may not be a problem for you. However, many people experience problems with the way the glasses rest on the nose, some may forget where they left them after taking them off, and others may not like the fact they have to remove them when exercising. If you’re into sports, wearing glasses is probably out of the question.
Contact lenses solve a few of those problems. You don’t get the annoying red marks on your nose or the discomfort of wearing glasses for long periods, and you may find it easier to go running. However, if you play contact sports, contact lenses can still pose a risk in that they can be lost during a game or move around the eye if the game is particularly intense.
LASIK is the only option that offers total freedom. You don’t have to worry about breaking your glasses or losing a contact lens when you exercise. You don’t need to remember to regularly order new boxes of contact lenses, and you don’t have to keep getting scratched lenses repaired. Once you have LASIK surgery, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re able to go out and enjoy your life free from worry about your eyesight.
Comfort and Convenience
As we’ve briefly discussed already, glasses may pose a comfort issue to some people. Lighter frames can help reduce the discomfort caused by wearing glasses long-term, but lighter frames are also more easily lost, breakable and don’t fit as snugly around the ears and nose. They reduce the red marks on your face caused by the nose rests, but they easily come off if you decide to run or jog.
Contact lenses can also be inconvenient. Regularly ordering new boxes of contact lenses, cleaning them every night, and remembering to put them in in the morning can be a nuisance. If you’re used to it, it may be fine for a while – but this daily routine will go on for decades and can soon become frustrating.
LASIK solves these problems and allows you to live your life just like somebody who has never experienced visual problems.
Even with eyeglasses and contact lenses, you’re likely to suffer from eye strain. One of the biggest contributing factors behind eye strain is the use of computer screens and digital devices, and data suggests that around 50% of computer users suffer from it. Symptoms generally include vision stress, eye pain, and dry eye.
You’re more likely to experience this symptom when using computers, however, if you have pre-existing eye conditions, astigmatism, or another refractive issue. Combined with the strain of staring at a flat digital screen for hours, and you’re likely to experience some pain or discomfort every day. LASIK cures the underlying conditions that make eye strain more likely, letting you enjoy a life free of discomfort.
Contact Lenses Pros and Cons
Think contact lenses are the way to go? Check out some of these contact lenses pros and cons.
- Eliminate the need to wear glasses and are invisible
- Improve side/peripheral vision compared to eyeglasses
- Easier to do sports
- Regularly replacing contact lenses can be expensive
- Maintenance is more complicated, requiring daily disinfecting
- Easy to lose or damage lenses
- Discomfort of taking them in and out of the eye twice a day
- “Halo” effects or blurring around bright lights can occur with contact lense use
Glasses Pros and Cons
And now, some glasses pros and cons!
- Easy to take on and off, the simplest solution for refractive issues
- Can be fashion accessories, and come in many shapes and styles
- Zero side effects as they don’t touch the eye
- Lenses can be changed as your eyes change
- Are expensive and lenses must be replaced often
- Unsuitable for use in certain professions or if you are a sports enthusiast
- Can be lost and broken
- Some people find wearing them uncomfortable
- Clear peripheral vision is sacrificed.
LASIK Pros and Cons
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the LASIK pros and cons to help you decide what’s best.
- Fixes refractive issues
- It’s a solution that requires no daily maintenance
- One surgery can fix eye problems for decades
- Most cost-effective option over the course of a lifetime
- Typically more expensive in the short term (but costs less in the long run)
- Requires surgery
- Temporary mild side effects may occur after surgery
Contacts vs Glasses vs LASIK: What to Choose?
So, is LASIK better than contacts and eyeglasses? That’s a question only you and your eye doctor can answer, but the evidence shows that it is a more convenient and long-term solution to a huge range of eye problems.
When performed by expert eye doctors, LASIK surgery can be done safely and quickly with minimal risks involved. After a short period of rest, your eyes will function as if you never had refractive problems before and you can live your life how you please – no maintenance, no remembering where you put your glasses, and no daily lens cleaning!
To find out more about our pioneering LASIK solutions check out our informative videos and schedule an initial consultation. You can book your appointment online or give one of our team members a call on (312) 444-1111 to schedule over the phone.