Study shows LASIK delivers higher patient satisfaction than Contact Lens wear

Published by Lance Kugler, MD on May 26, 2016

A three-year longitudinal survey was published in the March 2016 issue of the medical journal Ophthalmology comparing patient reported data from contact lens users and LASIK patients with study participants completing a survey of their vision each year. The purpose of the study was to assess patient satisfaction and perceived outcomes with different methods of refractive error correction through annual surveys and has shown modern LASIK surgery is more effective and produces better outcomes than has been reported historically.Students in School Campus

Who Participated in the Study?

Twenty sites across the United States enrolled subjects who completed a study-specific baseline survey. Approximately 1,800 adults participated, aged 18 to 60 years old, with 694 remaining in contacts as the control group; the rest, 819 (45%) wore contacts and 287 (16%) wore glasses before having LASIK. Study participants were asked about their level of satisfaction with their vision and their experience with visual symptoms (dry eye, night driving issues) at the beginning of the study – prior to having LASIK for those choosing vision correction surgery – and at the 1, 2 and 3-year mark.  

Study Results

The study found that, over time, strong satisfaction with the vision provided by contact lens use went down from 63 percent at the beginning of the study, to 54 percent among the control group of contact lens users.  However, up to 88 percent of LASIK patients were strongly satisfaction with their vision following the vision correction procedure. In addition, fewer LASIK patients who were formerly contact lens users reported issues with night time driving visual symptoms than the control group. From the study, proven benefits of LASIK were reported. LASIK significantly reduced

  • difficulties with night driving
  • nighttime visual disturbances
  • self-reported rates of eye infections
  • self-reported rates of ulcers
  • self-reported rates of abrasions

There was no significant difference in the experience of dry eye symptoms between the two contact lens user groups (former and control). However, LASIK patients who formerly wore glasses saw an increase in dry eye symptoms, consistent with glasses users having tried and discontinued contact lenses due to underlying dry eye symptoms. In conclusion, this large-scale longitudinal study found

  • current LASIK technology resulted in higher levels of satisfaction with vision
  • did not significantly increase dry eye symptoms
  • reduced visual symptoms related to driving at night compared to contact lens use

LASIK – A Better Solution than Contact Lenses and Glasses

LASIK is safer than contact lenses Contact lenses are a safe and effective means of vision correction. However, evidence is building that permanent laser vision correction, such as LASIK, is often preferable for those who do not want the expense and daily hassles of glasses and contact lenses, or who wish to experience visual freedom to the fullest potential. The efficacy and safety of LASIK have been demonstrated in various clinical trials, the most recent including, the LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project PROWL-1 and PROWL-2 studies organized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This study demonstrated the benefits and risks with LASIK and contact lenses by comparing visual satisfaction before and for a period of 3 years after LASIK with a control group consisting of people using contact lenses as their primary method of vision correction. More than 16.3 million LASIK procedures have been performed worldwide and is considered among the most successful elective procedures. To learn more about your vision correction options visit us at Kugler Vision in Omaha, NE for a consultation to find out if you’re a LASIK candidate today! Text or call 402.558.2211 to schedule.    

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