Individuals who prefer not to wear glasses have a choice between using contact lenses or having LASIK eye surgery. Both are effective in improving vision, but each has its own benefits and risks. Below are a few pointers that will help you decide between contacts or refractive surgery.


The first, and perhaps the biggest factor, is cost. LASIK surgery is considered an elective surgery and because of this, it is not covered by most insurance companies. Since it is surgery, the price generally falls just above $2,000 per eye. Contacts on the other hand, are covered by insurances up to a certain dollar amount. After that, the customer is required to pay. This makes contacts an affordable option for many. 

Side Effects

You may not think that using contacts comes with any side effects, but there are actually a few. Most side effects, however, are a result of using the contacts improperly. It is possible to get an infection, like keratitis, when not keeping contacts clean, or when wearing them overnight. Still, the side effects for LASIK eye surgery are greater. Individuals may experience halos, dry eyes, fluctuating vision, and in rare cases, even loss of vision. 

Time Off From Work

Should your job be demanding and not offer much in the way of time off, then you'd be better with contacts. LASIK eye surgery requires taking a few days off to heal after the procedure and comes with a list of temporary restrictions. You won't be able to play sports right away, and you'll need to avoid pools and hot tubs for at least two weeks. Contact wearers will find immediate improvement in their vision without any restrictions. Properly fitted contacts are comfortable and only take a few minutes to put in and take out each day. 

You Don't Meet the Qualifications

Sometimes the decision between contacts and laser eye surgery is made for you. There are a list of qualifications that one must meet in order to be approved for LASIK surgery. If you don't meet them, then you are left with the option of contacts. Some of the qualifications you can expect your doctor to go over that may exclude you from the surgery include pregnancy, a pre-existing autoimmune disorder, irregular corneas, dry eyes, or current medications that include Accutane or oral prednisone. 

If you are still unsure as to whether you'd like to stick with contacts, or try for the laser eye surgery, your optometrist can help. Call for a consultation and make sure you have all of your medical history available for review when you show up for your appointment. For more information about contact lenses, go to