A comparison between 30-day contact lenses and LASIK
There are currently several solutions to vision problems and even diseases for different groups of people. Dealing with traditional refractive errors, the most common remedy is to use prescription eyeglasses. The second most popular solution is Rx contact lenses. If you are over 18, it is feasible to resort to LASIK for long term vision recovery, so as to get rid of daily removal, cleaning, and disinfecting of eyeglasses or contacts. There is actually another option that brings similar benefits: 30 days extended wear contact lenses that are approved by FDA.
30-day contact lenses are more effective and flexible
Another aspect to make a comparison between continuous contacts and LASIK is the effectiveness. If 30-day contacts can provide enough visual satisfaction for users, they are a better choice than LASIK. Continuous contacts wearers can still move to bifocal lenses or reading glasses when they enter a presbyopic age. Statistics show that most patients after receiving LASIK can get 20/20 visual acuity. An exception is that some post-LASIK patients may experience a visual change after a certain period. While some of them need eyeglasses at night for visual compensation, others even need a second LASIK. LASIK is less effective for people above 40.
Extended wear contact lenses are more economical
Extended wear contacts require no expense for lens care, but a 12-month supply of them needs typically $250 to $300. The surgery cost and subsequent expense after LASIK are much higher than continuous contacts. An LASIK itself costs an average of $2000 for one eye, even if you can divide it into several installments. Patients after LASIK also need regular eye exams to check vision changes, nonprescription sunglasses for UV protection and safety goggles during sports participation. Of course, any item of these products requires follow-up expense.
No safety guarantee can be made
Both LASIK and extended wear contacts have safety issues. In the early days of continuous wear contacts, many cases were reported that people experienced eye infections so that the FDA reduced 30 days to 7 days for a maximum continuous wearing. Although the FDA has approved the new invented silicone hydrogel contacts for 30 days continuous wear because of their proven safety, these contact lenses are still not for some people who have certain previous eye problems.
Rich clinical experience may help surgeons screen out poor candidates for LASIK, but most of the people still suffer from nighttime glare and dryness during the several months after the surgery. The good news is that new refractive surgical technologies including femtosecond lasers, eye-tracking, new wave-guided laser treatments have significantly reduced the risks of LASIK.
It is all up to yourself if you are the right candidate for both 30-day continuous contacts and LASIK. There are some facts that may help you make a decision. Contact lenses have lower risks than LASIK, although the latter solution removes even the monthly lenses removal and replacement. 30-day contact lenses provide a more flexible solution that you can switch to other contacts according in response vision change, and they are much cheaper than LASIK.
Beyond 30-day contacts and LASIK
In fact, there are other options if you can not get enough satisfaction from either 30-day contacts or LASIK surgery, such as Ortho-k contacts and daily disposable contacts. Ortho-k contacts free you from daytime lenses wearing, while daily disposable lenses eliminate lens care. Being around for more than ten years, Ortho-k treatment involves the design and fitting of special GP contacts over the eyes during nighttime. Clear vision will last during the next daytime because the cornea has been reshaped properly at night. A fact of daily disposable contacts is that they cost about twice the expense of 30-day lenses, but they also help eliminate the dry-eye problem.
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