Let’s face it, young eyes often take a beating, especially when contact lenses are worn. For the college age group, there are many late nights studying and hanging out with friends, which can take its toll on young eyes. Sleeping in contact lenses and wearing them for longer than advised increases the risk of vision debilitating problems. Rather than subjecting the eyes to years of abuse, LASIK surgery should be considered as a safe alternative to contact lenses.
In our office, we see contact lens abuse in both our younger and older patients. Regardless the age, wearing contact lenses improperly is a recipe for disaster.
“We have many patients come to us for LASIK after having numerous eye infections and edema,” said James Kiley, MD, Refractive Surgeon at Raleigh Eye Center. “These patients are often tired of the problems they attribute to wearing contact lenses improperly and are ready to eliminate the risk of future complications from their lives.”
LASIK Safety in Young Eyes
LASIK is best suited for patients who are 18 years of age and older and have a stable prescription for more than one year. A retrospective analysis of more than 5000 eyes found that younger (up to 25 years of age), appropriately selected patients had excellent surgical outcomes and fewer complications.
LASIK Cost Comparison
In most cases, LASIK eliminates the need to wear corrective lenses. While the upfront costs for LASIK may cause hesitation for some, the long-term benefits make it a viable option. In a cost comparison of LASIK versus contact lenses, we found that the money spent on LASIK can typically be recouped in 6 years or less
LASIK and the Active Lifestyle
Being active and wearing contact lenses or glasses can be challenging. Many problems can arise from wearing contact lenses or glasses while playing sports. Enjoying the pool , beach or even relaxing in the hot tub while wearing contact lenses significantly increases the risk of vision threatening infections. Having LASIK eliminates the potential risks associated with wearing glasses and contact lenses while enjoying sports and other outdoor activities.
Young adults who are interested in LASIK and are candidates for the procedure should weigh the pros versus cons of waiting rather than enjoying clear vision now. Most will find that the economic and functional benefits make LASIK now a better option. The improved efficacy and safety of LASIK in the young is icing on the proverbial cake.