Part 1 of 5: LASIK vs. Contact Lenses. New Study finds LASIK patients to be more satisfied than patients in Contact lenses or glasses

A recent study published in the journal Ophthalmology may change perceptions about the benefits of LASIK.

Although there are hundreds of thousands of LASIK procedures performed per year in the US, it is still considered underutilized. The reasons why LASIK is not used range from just the cost of it to the equipment purchase issues to the gaps in patient and physician awareness about efficacy, safety and quality of life.

Also, concerns about the potential for worsening night vision and dry eye following the procedure also have taken part in the “under-use” of LASIK.

This new study may change all of the above.  It was a prospective study which evaluated the benefits and risks of LASIK and contact lenses from a patient’s perspective. It found that LASIK patients are more satisfied than contact lens wearers.

Patients reported that LASIK significantly reduced difficulties with nighttime visual disturbances, such as haloes and glare, and did not significantly increase dry eye.

We want to share all the findings of this new study with you so that you could make an informed decision. This is PART 1 of 5.

LASIK vs. Contact Lenses

Marianne Price, PhD, executive director of the Cornea Research Foundation of America, which sponsored the study showing the advantages of LASIK over contact lens wear said “We find that most patients are thrilled with their LASIK outcomes and often consider it a life-changing procedure.”

Though multiple studies have evaluated LASIK in isolation, NO study before attempted to compare patients’ real-world options head to head: LASIK vs. continued contact lens or glasses wear.

A total of 1,800 people, aged 18-60, who were considering LASIK were included in this study.

For those who chose the option of surgery, researchers assessed their visual satisfaction before and after LASIK, every year for 3 years.

People who chose to continue contact lens wear were also surveyed for 3 years, and served as “controls.”

Almost 90% of former contact lens wearers and 77% of former spectacle wearers were “strongly” satisfied with LASIK at 3 years postop, while satisfaction among controls dropped 63% to 53% at 3 years.

In contrast to reports of increased postop dry eye and decreased night vision, patients reported that LASIK significantly reduced difficulties with nighttime visual disturbances, such as haloes and glare, and did not significantly increase dry eye. This was measured at 1, 2 and 3 years (annually throughout the study).

Patients younger than 40 were more likely to be strongly satisfied than older patients, and the satisfaction rate was similar between men and women.

Guy Kezirian, MD, founder of Refractive Surgery Alliance and the Physician CEO Program at Kellogg Northwestern University, praised the study. A lifelong LASIK researcher and advocate, he is committed to bringing the benefits of refractive surgery to more people. “It’s the first time in human history we’ve been able to correct a debilitating congenital defect on a mass scale,” he said.

We will share parts 2-5 in the upcoming weeks, but if you are interested in getting rid of your glasses or your contact lenses, please call us today at [mn_location pid=’128′]{tel}[/mn_location] to hear more about the benefits of LASIK and come in to determine if you are a LASIK candidate!

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