Part 3 of 5: LASIK vs. Contact Lenses – Which Is Safer?

LASIK vs. Contact Lenses. Which is safer?

Here is a topic that we deal with on a daily basis, and perhaps you have even considered it once or twice. We wanted to have an open discussion with our readers about LASIK and how they feel about it in relation to wearing contacts, as that is a day-to-day struggle.

Because contacts are so commonly used, many people assume they are safe.

In fact, many people (including some eye professionals) felt that contacts were safer than laser vision correction surgery (LASIK) until the last 10 years or so. This is where the experts at Slade & Baker Vision want to share some key facts from an extensive literature review of various studies published between 2014 and 2015 (Masters et al., JCRS 2017 Jan;43(1):67-73.)

The review of the medical literature indicated that:

1. Use of any non-daily disposable contact for 1 year appears to be associated with 3 times the risk of having a bacterial infection in the cornea compared with LASIK.

2. Even use of daily disposable contact lenses for 5 years appears to be associated with 3 times the risk of having a bacterial infection in the cornea compared with LASIK.

3. Use of daily disposable contact lenses for 1 year is not statistically different in bacterial infection risk from LASIK!

It will be more difficult to compare the risk of getting an infection in the next 30 years with the chance of complications after a surgery. However, what all the information above tells us is that contact lenses are not always a safer choice than LASIK surgery.

How long have you been wearing contacts? How much longer do you plan to wear them? If you do choose to wear contacts, please be diligent about perfect contact lens hygiene. And make sure your contact lenses are newer models that allow as much oxygen through as possible.

We find day in and day out in our clinic that contact lenses and LASIK are very safe, although there is always a small risk of complications from both. If you have questions about LASIK or contact lens wear, please do not ever hesitate to call our office at 713-626-5544 and speak to our experts. For more information about LASIK, please visit our LASIK page.

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