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    LASIK Satisfaction vs. Contact Lenses

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    Three years after undergoing LASIK, patients were substantially happier with this choice of surgical correction than a comparative group of patients who opted for contact lenses (CL) during the same time period, a large longitudinal study has found.1

    Surveys of 1,800 patients at 20 sites across the United States revealed that 88% of former CL wear­ers and 77% of former glasses wearers were strongly satisfied with LASIK at year 3. In a control group of continued CL wearers, 54% expressed strong satisfac­tion with their current vision correction method after 3 years.

    The data not only supported LASIK surgeons’ clini­cal impressions about their patients’ satisfaction rates but also unearthed 2 surprises, said coauthor Francis W. Price Jr., MD, who heads the Price Vision Group in Indianapolis.

    Surprise findings. “I was surprised to see that LASIK dramatically improved the ease of night driving not only for [former] contact lens wearers but also for those who wore glasses,” Dr. Price said. “I think too often we assume that glasses prescriptions provide perfect vision. However, anyone who wears glasses knows that there are visual disturbances and inconve­niences with wearing them.

    “The other welcome surprise was that for those who had worn contact lenses, dry eye symptoms were no worse 1 year after LASIK and improved over the 3-year follow-up period,” he said.

    Compared against CL correction—not against a perfect eye. Dr. Price pointed to the study’s unique de­sign—with contact lens wearers as the control group—as one of its key strengths.

    “At the time we put this study together, LASIK was being criticized by a small group of people who, rightfully or not, blamed LASIK for any visual problems they had or depression they felt. LASIK was being compared to perfection instead of to alternative treat­ments for visual errors,” he said. “Therefore, we felt it was important to see how LASIK patients compared with a control group using another popular form of vi­sual correction, such as contact lenses.”

    Linda Roach


    1 Price MO et al. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(8):1659-1666.


    Relevant financial disclosures: Dr. Price—Calhoun Vision: O; Haag-Streit: C; Interactive Medical Publishing: O; Revital-Vision: O; Staar Surgical: C; Strathspey Crown: O; TearLab: O; Transcend Medical: C.

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