Risk of infection higher with contact lenses than with LASIK surgery

Published by Lance Kugler, MD on May 4, 2011

There are many studies in the scientific literature that show that LASIK is safer than contact lenses. One such study found that the cumulative annual risk of infection with contact lens wear is 18/10000 (0.18%). The risk of infection following LASIK is 1/2000 (0.05%). Therefore, the risk of infection is 180 times greater with contact lenses than with LASIK over the course of a lifetime. (from Oliver Schein, MD, MPH of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine was published in Archives of Ophthalmology 2007, June, 125(6):853-4) Another report from the Cornea Clinical Committee of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS) found that in the U.S. in 2007 there were 2 cornea transplants performed because of infections after LASIK, compared to 55 transplants for infections related to contact lens wear. So if you are hesitant to consider laser surgery because of fear, then it is important to realize that contact lenses are not without risk!

Lance Kugler, MD, is a specialist in LASIK and vision correction surgery and CEO of Kugler Vision. A proud Omaha native, he is passionate about improving lives through clear vision. Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards, and his practice is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Dr. Kugler is one of the original founders of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, an international organization comprised of over 350 of the world’s leading vision correction surgeons; he also served as its first president. In 2019, Dr. Kugler was selected as a TEDx speaker, and delivered a talk in Omaha about the worldwide epidemic of nearsightedness and refractive solutions. Dr. Kugler is an Associate Professor of Refractive Surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Truhlsen Eye Institute, has been published in many medical journals, and participates in numerous clinical studies to advance the field of vision correction surgery. Additionally, Dr. Kugler is proud to be a Board Certified Fellow of the World College of Refractive Surgery & Visual Sciences. Dr. Kugler and his wife are proud parents to five active kids. When he has a spare moment, he enjoys skiing, tennis, travel, and fine coffee.

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