Laser Eye Surgery vs. Contacts: Which is Safer?

LASIKMany people tend to assume that contacts are safer than laser eye surgery because the former is less invasive. Yet the findings of a recent study suggest otherwise. Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University found that the risk of vision loss is higher among contact lens wearers than those who choose to have laser eye surgery.

The researchers compared the number of vision loss cases among individuals who wear contacts every day for 30 years and individuals who underwent refractive eye surgery. One in 1000 contact lens wearers suffered from vision loss due to infection while one in 1,250 patients who underwent laser eye surgery experienced vision loss, and that was only a tiny two-line difference on the standard eye chart. The slightly higher risk of vision loss in contact lens users may have to do with how the fingers are used in putting the contacts in place.

At the Central Florida Eye Institute, we recommend contact lens wearers take the following steps to reduce the chance of infection:

  • Do not sleep with your contacts in.
  • Use cleaning solutions as instructed. Don’t use tap water, distilled water, or bottled water.
  • Replace contact lenses regularly.

The risk of vision loss in laser eye surgery can be reduced through the following:

  • Choose a highly experienced laser eye surgeon
  • Provide your laser eye surgeon with your complete medical history even if you don’t think it is relevant to your laser eye surgery, including previous reasons for hospitalization, past and current allergies, and medication history.
  • Find out if the practice you are considering is using the latest laser technology

Call 352.237.8400 to learn more about laser eye surgery and contact lenses today!

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