Here at GW Vision many of our patients who are big proponents of LASIK have been wearers of contacts. Over 35 million Americans wear contact lenses as a form of vision correction. Out of these 35 million 15% use extended wear contacts while another 15% wear gas permeable lenses – meaning a good 10.5 million Americans must be cognizant of maintaining their contact lenses daily.
Did you know that 1 out of 2,000 contact lens wearers will experience a vision-threatening infection? These odds are due to the fact that many contact lens wearers will oftentimes sleep with their contacts on, clean them poorly, or use their contacts longer than they are supposed to.
The odds of a vision- threatening infection due to LASIK are 1 out of 10,000 patients. These odds are indicative of the fact that LASIK is now safer than contacts. After decades of refinement and adjustment, LASIK is now the preferred form of correction because it eliminates the usage of contacts along with exposure to the health risks that frequent wear brings. Of course, the chances of contact lens-related infection will vary according to each person’s hygiene.
Contacts can, however, be a great solution for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK or PRK. A good contact lens fitting can make all the difference concerning eye health. Contact lenses that are too steep or flat for one’s eye can cause corneal damage. Be sure to consult your optometrist about your vision correction options before proceeding with either contacts or LASIK.