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The Lifetime Value of LASIK Over Contacts



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For years, physicians, surgeons, and health journals have touted the benefits of LASIK surgery. Yet, a lack of knowledge about the procedure and enhanced technology leaves many patients too fearful of investing in this surgery. Combined with the initial cost of the process, many clients cannot “afford” to undergo LASIK. However, more often than not, patients spend more money on recurring glasses/contact exams, glasses (including components and accessories), and contacts (and accessories) throughout lifetime than the initial monetary investment required for LASIK.

Initial LASIK Investment
Even though we are in a time of financial hardship and uncertainty, procedures that benefit oneself, health can be viewed as a secure financial investment. In comparison to glasses, contacts, and the upkeep costs for these vision aides, LAIK provides an economic return of over 866%. These statistics are based on the average cost of LASIK weighing in at $1,935 per eye in the year 2007, according to the FDA.

LASIK vs. Glasses
In comparison, the estimated cost of eyeglasses per eye is approximately $300 per year. Figuratively, an individual who requires glasses through the age of 77, can expect to spend at least $26,000 on glasses throughout a lifetime. This provides a 540% return on investment for similar clients.

LASIK vs. Contacts
Although the cost of wearing contacts is slightly less than the expense of glasses, the return on investment is still significant. With fees, such as $125 per year for examinations and $50 per year minimum for disposable contacts, the return on investment of these devices is more around $680. Also, other factors including time spent for examinations for these vision aides, money lost from taking time off from one’s place of employment, and reasonable waiting period to receive ordered products are all included in the cost of LASIK versus glasses or contacts.

Physical Competition
One of the main reasons patients seek out LASIK surgery is to eliminate the need for daily glasses and contacts wearing. Individuals who wear glasses require the use of these devices constantly, which makes wear and tear–and the resulting repairs–a norm. Besides, those who wear contacts often experience fatigue and can develop infection from a lack of routine hygiene regarding eye care. Not to mention, certain activities, such as swimming and playing sports, can make it difficult or even impossible to maintain vision accuracy as glasses- and contact-wearing is merely not possible.

As one might presume, all of these difficulties are entirely avoidable with the help of LASIK eye surgery. Once the procedure is complete, there is virtually no need ever to wear glasses or contacts again. Although results may vary, most patients can see more clearly than they ever could with glasses or contacts. As a result, this leads to an increase in one’s quality of life. Although this improvement is impossible to measure tangibly, freedom from glasses and contacts makes a massive impact on an individual’s life. It can increase a patient’s self-esteem, eliminate necessary vision aides, and can make participation in sports and other activities more enjoyable.

Error Potential
One aspect of LASIK that some opponents claim is disadvantageous is the potential for error. Although glasses and contacts may be a hassle, they do not directly affect a patient’s overall health and seldom worsen vision. However, simple mistakes made within the LASIK procedure could potentially lead to decreased vision. Though these worries were viable with previous procedural formats, today’s LASIK procedures are more much enhanced and safe. Procedural details are mapped out beforehand with state-of-the-art technology so that surgeons can explore the needs of every patient’s optical profile. With enhanced technology and increased safety measures, LASIK surgery is now one of the most accurate, commonly-performed procedures amongst patients today. Featuring reduced recovery time, LASIK is far more convenient and safe than ever for most patients.

Ultimate Price of LASIK
In reality, the only thing that patients have to gain from LASIK is a lifetime of vision without supportive devices. While the initial investment of LASIK may seem like a hefty amount, the freedom that it gives patients to see clearly and make future glasses/contacts purchases obsolete outweighs the lifetime burden of such devices. Speaking from a financial point of view, the benefits of LASIK surgery far outweigh those that are provided temporarily from other forms of vision-enhancing methods.