Most people know about the risks associated with LASIK or PRK surgery, but many fail to realize that contact lenses can also cause many eye problems. If you’re one of the estimated 38 million Americans wearing contacts, it’s important to know the dangers associated with contact use versus the risks of laser vision surgery.
Risks of Wearing Contact Lenses
The biggest risk associated with contact use is eye infections. Eye infections, known as keratitis, occur when the cornea becomes infected by bacteria, fungi, or other microbes which lead to pain, vision problems, and even blindness. To avoid eye infections, you must follow proper hygiene steps.
Some important steps for proper contact hygiene include:
- Always thoroughly wash your hands and then dry on a clean, lint-free cloth before touching contacts
- Use daily wear disposable contacts, but if you choose reusable contacts:
- Never clean your contacts with tap water or saliva – both are filled with bacteria that can lead to serious infections
- Always use fresh disinfecting solution – reusing disinfecting solution allows bacteria to develop
- Clean and dry your contact lens case with the proper solution after each use; replace the case every 3 months
- Do not sleep in contact lenses.
- Do not swim or shower in contact lenses
- Always have an extra pair of glasses to wear, in case you need to remove your contacts
If you need vision correction but find all the hygiene practices for contacts cumbersome, you have two options: glasses or LASIK.
Many people choose contacts over glasses because they don’t like how glasses look, find them uncomfortable, or play contact sports. For these people, LASIK or PRK may be a better option. Risks associated with LASIK and PRK are low, and you can achieve 20/20 vision without glasses or contacts.
Risks of LASIK or PRK
Over 14 million Americans have had LASIK since the 90s, and surgeons have reported a less than 3% complication rate. Most of these complications are related to issues such as dry eyes and reduced night vision – not loss of vision – and even these have been significantly reduced by advances in laser technology. In fact, an FDA study showed that for moderate nearsightedness there were less night vision problems after wavefront guided LASIK than with glasses or contacts; and even for very high amounts of nearsightedness treated with LASIK there were no greater night vision problems than with contacts or glasses. Also, a recent multicenter study confirmed less dry eye problems after LASIK than with contacts.
Lipstock LASIK & Cataract Center can help you achieve 20/20 vision with laser vision surgery so you can remove the inconveniences of contacts and glasses from your life. However, not all patients are good candidates for this procedure. The only way to know if you are a candidate for LASIK is by scheduling a free LASIK Consultation to have your eyes examined. Use our online scheduler, or call our office today to schedule your first step toward a lens-free life!