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Laser Surgery or contact lenses: Which is better?

Contact Lenses

With contact lenses there are a plethora of choices out there, from single use 1-day contacts to 30 day continuous use contacts. There are now contacts that also correct astigmatism as well contacts made for presbyopia (a condition that occurs usually around 40-45 years of age and usually requires multi-focal lenses). Deciding on which contact is right for you may require extensive research on your part as well as asking your eye care professional for their advice. As research continues on corrective contact lenses, new materials are being discovered to address dryness and irritation previously reported in earlier contact lens users. Most contact lenses these days are manufactured from silicon hydrogel, which allows for greater oxygen permeation and flexibility of the lens. However, even with the great advances made in the construction of contact lenses, there are still a significant percentage of people who report discomfort with contact lenses. Many say it feels like there is a foreign object in their eyes (which, of course there is) and this may be due to a greater sensitivity in some people. Unfortunatley it is known that infections due to contact lenses can cause Tinnitus as well.

Laser Surgery

Many people, today, opting for a more permanent corrective procedure, are considering laser surgery. Just as with contact lenses, there have been many advances in today’s optical laser surgery methods, drastically reducing side effect and complications. In traditional Lasik eyes surgery, the first step of the procedure involved the surgeon cutting a small flap in the cornea with a mechanical blade. This method has been replaced, today, with Femtolasik surgery. With Femtolasik eye surgery, the flap is created using the FEMTO LDV femtosecond laser. With this method the accuracy, safety and patient comfort are increased dramatically, compared to the old method. Femtolasik eyes surgery only takes a few minutes, and requires no restraints of the patient’s head, so it is comfortable and virtually pain free. Due to the extremely low energy used in Femtolasik laser surgery, there is usually little to no swelling of the cornea, much shorter recovery time (often within hours or even minutes the patients vision is clear) and because the surgeon is able to enlarge the treatment zone, the side effects are negligible. Another common laser eye surgery is Relex Smile (Refractive Lenticule Extraction, Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) surgery. This surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that does not require the cornea to be cut or “flapped” and is suitable for patients with very high prescriptions, drier eyes or thinner corneas. As in the Femtolasik surgery, the Relex Smile procedure only takes a few minutes. Unlike Femtoasik, there is only a single laser used. In Femtolasik the cornea is shaped by a second laser, whereas with Relex Smile, the single laser cuts out a lens shaped piece of corneal material to shape the cornea, thus correcting the myopia. You can do a Relex Smile in Berlin. This piece of cornea material is then removed, usually through keyhole incision. Both operations are minimally invasive, require only a few moments to preform and have an extremely high success rate as well as a very short recovery time. You will have to get with your eye care professional to decide which of these surgeries are right for you, as the decision is based on several factors such as the degree of myopia and condition or health of your cornea.

Which one is right for you?

When choosing whether to go with contact lenses or laser surgery you should consider the following: Laser surgery is a more permanent solution, one which cannot be undone. There are no possible risks involved with contact lenses, though the risks involved with laser surgery today are extremely minimal, as with any surgery (even non-invasive) there are always going to be risks involved. As a permanent solution, laser surgery is usually a one-time ordeal, whereas with contact lenses you have to continuously purchase lenses throughout your life. With contact lenses, your vision may also continue to deteriorate, thus requiring several adjustments to the prescription strength of the lenses. With contact lenses, there is a chance of discomfort, especially in those with sensitive eyes. The upfront cost of laser eye surgery may seem quite high, but if you factor in the cost of constantly having to buy contact lenses over your lifetime, the overall cost of contacts will be much higher. Basically, what is comes down to is whether you want a short term, ongoing solution to correcting your vision or a longer term, one time solution. If you don’t mind having to keep up with your contacts, remembering to remove them, keeping them clean, etc. then contact lenses might be your best choice. If, on the other hand, you don’t want the hassle of dealing with contacts and just want to go about your life with clear, no maintenance, vision, then laser surgery is probably the best call. You can make a much more informed and educated decision by knowing the facts and by discussing the decision with your eye care professional, but ultimately, the decision is in your hands, or rather, your eyes.