LASIK vs. Glasses vs. Contact Lenses: The Pros and Cons

People with vision problems have many options available to them to improve their sight. Three of the most popular corrective solutions are LASIK surgery, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.

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Each of these options comes with its own pros and cons, and the right choice may vary from person to person. After all, you’ll want to take into account factors like cost, eye insurance coverage, and maintenance.

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In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of LASIK, glasses, and contacts so you’ll better understand what to consider when weighing your options.

LASIK surgery pros and cons

LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a minimally invasive surgery that corrects vision impairments, including near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. The largely painless procedure lasts less than 30 minutes and involves reshaping the patient’s cornea. It can have a permanent or semi-permanent effect.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of LASIK.

Pros

  • One-time procedure and payment with lasting results
  • No daily maintenance required
  • Ideal for active people
  • Easy to wear non-prescription sunglasses

Cons

  • A large payment up front
  • Only available to those 18 or older with healthy eyes
  • Mild side effects possible after surgery, including some discomfort and blurred vision
  • Commonly not covered by insurance because it’s an elective surgery

Glasses pros and cons

Glasses are a helpful solution for people who may not want to undergo surgery or who want the options of changing their frames and prescriptions as their eyes age. They are also the most comfortable option for many people with vision impairments.

Pros

  • Easy and convenient to acquire and use as needed
  • Not invasive since they don’t touch the eye
  • Provide a form of eye protection
  • Come in many shapes, colors, and sizes to be used for style and fashion purposes
  • Available to most people of any age
  • Often covered by eye insurance

Cons

  • Can be expensive depending on the frame designer and lens type needed
  • Must be replaced as prescription changes
  • Difficult to use while active, such as in sports or swimming
  • Easy to break or misplace
  • May not provide full peripheral vision

Contact lenses pros and cons

Contact lenses sit right on the eye, so they often aren’t visible while wearing them. Yet they require a good deal of maintenance and reordering, especially if used daily.

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Pros

  • Aren’t visible like glasses
  • Provide more comprehensive peripheral vision
  • Better suited for wearing during sports
  • Commonly covered by eye insurance

Cons

  • Must be regularly replaced, which can get expensive over time
  • Require daily maintenance for proper disinfection and storage
  • May cause discomfort or dry eye
  • Not advised for people of certain ages, such as children under 8
  • Easy to lose and break, since they’re made of such a thin material

Which option is right for you?

Your choice of corrective solution will depend on your personal preferences, insurance options, financial situation, and eye care needs. If you don’t want to deal with any long-term maintenance, for example, you might opt for LASIK surgery. Or if you want your purchase to be covered by vision insurance, you might go with glasses or contact lenses. Whatever you choose, it’s important to thoroughly research the options available to you so you can make the best decision for your health.

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