When weighing your options on whether to go with contact lenses or laser eye surgery, it is a good idea to have some information on your options. This article will help you see that both of these choices has advantages and disadvantages. However, no matter what you read on the internet, always remember to consult your eye care provider when making health related decisions.
Contact lenses are thin, curved lenses worn in ‘contact’ with the eye. They are medical devices designed to correct vision, or for therapeutic or cosmetic reasons. However, unlike laser eye surgery, contacts are a short-term solution, which means that you will have to keep purchasing them and, in some cases, clean them daily.
Contact lenses have several benefits over eyeglasses, even though, unfortunately, they can’t give you the benefits that laser surgery does.
1. They Provide A Better Field Of View
Contact lenses rest directly on the surface of the eye. Because of their proximity to the eye, the central part of the lens that contains the corrective power, also known as the optic zone of the lenses, is much smaller than the optic zone of an eyeglass lens, which is the entire lens surface. The optic zone of contact lenses is only a part of the lens, which is surrounded by peripheral fitting curves that do not effect vision in any way. And of course, with contact lenses there are no frames to obstruct your vision.
2. They Are An Alternative To Glasses
Contacts don't detract from your natural appearance because they let people see your eyes. They also don’t clash with your wardrobe. And if you want to change your appearance you can experiment with color contact lenses and you can even get special-effects lenses.
3. They Are Not Affected By The Weather
Contacts typically aren't affected by the elements and won't fog up in cold weather like glasses. They won't collect precipitation and blur your vision. With contacts, there are no annoying obstructions or reflections in your view.
4. They Give You Freedom To Be Active
Sports performance can be enhanced by contact lenses in many different ways. For example, they fit onto the eyes and move naturally with them as well, and as mentioned above, they can provide a wider field of view than glasses.
There are some disadvantages to contact lenses as well.
1. Risk Of An Infection
Contact lenses require proper contact lens care and they should be cleaned daily in order to avoid potential eye infections. If proper lens care and replacement cycles are something you find hard to commit to, then you should know that there are daily disposable contacts that aren’t as demanding.
2. Sleeping With Contact Lenses In Is A Bad Idea
Falling asleep with contacts in can make your eyes dry, red, and irritated, or even cause an infection. If this is something that happens often to you, you should consider extended wear contact lenses because some extended wear contacts are approved for up to 30 days of continuous wear. Keep in mind that even extended wear lenses need to be taken out and cleaned regularly.
3. They Are Inconvenient
Some people have dry eye syndrome which can get worse by using contact lenses since they reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the eyes.
4. They Can Be Trouble To Put In
There is also the trouble that comes with applying your contact lenses properly, but in most cases, this can be rectified with proper technique and practice.
5. They Aren’t A Permanent Solution
Contact lenses are not a permanent solution to your vision problems since you will need to continue to wear and pay for them in order to keep seeing the benefits.
Laser Eye Surgery
Laser eye surgery is a procedure that corrects both short and long–sightedness, as well as astigmatism. It is a quick and simple permanent procedure that produces life-enhancing results for patients of all ages. It works by using a laser to reshape the eye’s cornea, improving the eye’s ability to focus. Laser eye surgery can significantly reduce the need to wear glasses or contact lenses, or even eradicate the need for them altogether.
Dry eyes, over time, can suffer from compromised vision and decreased sight. With this in mind, keep your eyes hydrated by avoiding things like blasting the A/C right in your face while you drive. Over-the-counter eye drops can also help keep your peepers happy and hydrated.
1. Permanent Results
Once you’ve had a laser eye surgery, your vision problems are corrected for good. The changes made to your eyes during the treatment will be permanent, and although your vision may still change over time, laser eye surgery offers a long-term solution.
2. Less Risk Of Infection
Wearing contact lenses can put your eyes at risk to infections. If you undergo laser eye surgery, once your eyes have healed, you’ll be able to avoid these risks.
3. Increased Freedom
If you choose laser eye surgery, you’ll be able to step out of the house without having to bring glasses or contact lenses in tow. You’ll also be able to do things like swimming or going in a sauna without having your vision get steamed up.
4. Easy To Carry Out And To Recover From
Laser eye surgery takes about 15 minutes to be carried out and the typical recovery time can be as quick as 24 hours.
On the other hand, laser eye surgery also has its disadvantages. However, complications are very rare, and can usually be remedied by further surgery.
1. Dry Eyes
Immediately after the procedure you might find that your eyes feel slightly dry and uncomfortable – don’t worry, you will be given eye drops to help combat this, and it should soon pass once your eyes heal.
2. Glare Or Halo Effect
At first, just after the treatment you might experience some glare or halo effect. This usually reduces significantly in the first few weeks after treatment and continues to improve over the first three months.
3. Flap Complications
In laser eye surgery that involves a flap being created in the cornea, there can be rare cases where the cornea does not heal properly. The risk of this can be kept to a minimum by following the aftercare advice of your surgeon, and in the event that a complication does occur, further treatment can be provided.
4. Imperfect Vision
Laser eye surgery can help improve your vision significantly, but you might still find that you need glasses for some tasks, such as reading small print or driving at night. In a minority of cases as the eyes heal, a small prescription may return.