Since its inception, LASIK has helped millions of people to improve their unaided vision safely and effectively. With the advent of custom wavefront LASIK, the procedure became even easier to customize and more predictable in its results. Now, patients are more likely than ever to emerge from LASIK surgery no longer having to rely on glasses or contact lenses for crisp, clear vision.
Nevertheless, many people who are considering LASIK continue to wear contact lenses for a variety of reasons. As with LASIK, contact lens technology has evolved significantly over the past decade or so, making contact lenses an increasingly attractive alternative to traditional eyeglasses. However, in terms of potential visual benefits and cost-effectiveness, custom wavefront LASIK remains the superior option for suitable candidates for the surgery.
At Broberg Eye Care, we would be pleased to discuss the issue of LASIK vs. contact lenses during a consultation at our Austin laser vision correction center. Until then, here is some basic information to get you started.
Comparing Wavefront LASIK to Contact Lenses
When the FDA initially approved the excimer laser for use in LASIK surgery in the late 1990s, the procedure was limited in terms of the visual improvements it could make. While patients could achieve 20/20 or better vision with LASIK, they could not achieve superior vision correction to that which they could achieve with glasses or contact lenses. This was due to the fact that LASIK, like glasses and contact lenses, could correct only lower order aberrations – universal visual errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Higher order aberrations, those that resulted from minute imperfections in the shape of the cornea that were unique to each eye, were beyond the technological reach of LASIK at this point.
With the introduction of wavefront mapping technology to the LASIK process, however, it became possible to measure and correct these higher order aberrations. As a result, LASIK surgeons could customize the procedure to a remarkably precise degree, accounting for even the tiniest flaws in the shape of the cornea. The result was truly fine-tuned vision that, in the best cases, was superior to that which was even possible with glasses, contact lenses, or conventional LASIK.
Wavefront LASIK still potentially provides crisper, sharper vision than conventional contact lenses. However, wavefront technology can now be used to manufacture contact lenses that address higher order aberrations, reducing glare and other visual abnormalities that occur among contact lens wearers.
While these contact lenses are extremely promising, they are also expensive, particularly compared to LASIK over a long period of time. They are also associated with the same risks as any other type of contact lens, including risk of infection. Wavefront LASIK offers a hassle-free, permanent solution to higher-order aberrations, one that eliminates the inconvenience of having to insert, clean, remove, and replace contact lenses.
Contact Our Eye Care Center Today
To learn more about custom wavefront LASIK and how it compares to contact lenses, please contact Broberg Eye Care today.