Are Contact lenses safer and more effective than LASIK?

A large study of results of people who had LASIK after 3 years compared to others who had been wearing contact lenses for those three years found that LASIK led to 1) more satisfactory vision, 2) including 3) better nighttime vision with less glare, than contacts, as well as a 4) lower rate of dry eye.

Infection can be a rare complication of both contact lenses and LASIK. At 1 year, daily contact wear conferred slightly less risk than LASIK, but because contact lens wear is an ongoing, daily event, by 5 years the risk of infection was 3x higher! Extended wear contacts can be even more dangerous: the risk of infection is 3x greater than LASIK at 1 year and 22x greater at 5 years. [Masters J, Kocak M, Waite A. Risk for microbial keratitis: Comparative meta-analysis of contact lens wearers and post-laser in situ keratomileusis patients. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery. 2017;43(1):67-73. doi:10.1016/j.jcrs.2016.10.022.]

_Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic