Posts Tagged ‘contact lenses’

LASIK Can’t “Do It All”

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Consider LASIK Alternatives

This Independence Day got me to thinking about patients and their desire to be independent of their eyeglasses. For patients seeking LASIK, often there is a ‘tipping point’ such as a contact lens related problem or it’s time to go in for their exam with the prospect of exam fees, contact lens fitting fees and the purchase of new glasses or contact lenses. Sometimes the patient just got back from a vacation or participated in an event where glasses got in the way. Or maybe the patient just got tired of pushing their glasses up their nose, putting in their contact lenses every morning or waking up unable to see. This is the point where they come in to see me. Often they are happy with what I tell them but a significant number are disappointed to learn that LASIK may not offer them everything they are looking for or is just not advised.

LASIK is a great procedure and has been around for a number of years. However, there remains a very specific ‘subset’ of patients for which LASIK is ideal. This subset includes patients between the ages of 18 and 40 without pre-existing dry eye problems, keratoconus or certain other eye diseases. The patient may have small amounts of farsightedness, or nearsightedness and/or astigmatism below a certain amount. Now don’t misunderstand me, almost half of my LASIK patients are not in this ideal category (usually because they are over the age of 40) but what I am saying is that patients who are not ideal may want to consider LASIK alternatives like Visian Implantable Contact Lenses, PRK or refractive lens exchange. The alternative is to accept certain compromises: an example might be the need for reading glasses.

The Laser Eye Center of Carolina offers more than just LASIK because LASIK is limited in who can benefit from the procedure and what it can offer. If you have a desire to become independent of glasses, consider all your options: not just LASIK.

Cost Effectiveness of LASIK vs Contact Lenses

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
LASIK will save you money over the cost of contact lenses.

LASIK will save you money over the cost of contact lenses.

One of the most common barriers to vision correction sited by patients interested in LASIK is cost.  But LASIK eye surgery, compared to contact lens and eyeglass correction of vision is actually a more cost effective option.  Consider the cumulative cost of contact lenses and extra office visits/contact related fitting fees as well as backup eyeglasses over the course of several years and it can be astounding how quickly the total price tag of vision prosthetics adds up.  Over the course of a decade or more of vision correction,  the cost differential between LASIK eye surgery and contact lens correction can amount to thousands of dollars.  Of course, the younger the patient, the more impressive the savings but, even older individuals can benefit financially.  And, the cost differential included in this article include only direct costs:  they don’t take into account the cost of time spent in doctor’s offices, purchasing lenses and glasses, inserting and removing contacts or lost time related to contact lens related infections or other difficulties.  If you have a productive business or career, time lost from income producing endeavors translate into even more lost dollars than the examples illustrated here.
How much money are we talking about?  Well, for a patient in their forties, LASIK vision correction surgery, on average, will save the typical patient $10,000.  A patient in their twenties will save even more: about $25,000.  AMO has developed a savings calculator that you can use to estimate the cost effectiveness of LASIK eye surgery compared to contact lenses.
Now, let’s say you’re convinced of the financial wisdom of correcting your vision rather than monthly “rent” of vision through the purchase of contact lenses and related services.  Even the most convinced investigator may simply not have the $4000-$5000 necessary to pay for LASIK eye surgery at their disposal.  Does that mean you should continue expenditures for contact lenses until you can accumulate the total necessary to pay for the procedure?  For most people the answer is no.  Consider applying what you normally are paying for contact lenses and related services and applying that amount toward your LASIK eye surgery.  If your credit is reasonably good, most LASIK surgeons can arrange financing for your procedure: and, as illustrated earlier, the sooner you can stop paying for contacts, the more your savings. 
Hesitant to take on more debt?  Well, while we admire your frugality, the argument about avoiding debt really only holds water when talking about certain luxury items.  Most people will not continue paying rent until they can afford to pay cash for their house because it does not make financial sense to do so.  The same is true for LASIK eye surgery if you view it as an investment designed to save you money over years.
So if you’ve been considering vision correction surgery, cross “cost” off your list of excuses for postponing your procedure. Contact us for a free consultation and we’ll help develop an affordable plan for losing your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. The sooner you have LASIK or other vision correction procedure, the more you’ll save and the sooner you can begin to enjoy visual freedom.

I’m Afraid to Have LASIK

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

One of the most common phrases we hear is “I’d like to have my vision corrected but I’m afraid to have LASIK”. Patients verbalize a fear of having an eye procedure because they are afraid of the risk of vision loss. There is not much worse fate one can imagine than to have to go through life blind or with greatly diminished vision. Some patients may even relate the story of “a friend of an acquaintance” that they ‘heard’ had vision loss from a LASIK procedure but yes, everyone that they know who had LASIK seems to be doing just fine. Just like many urban legends, the details of this alleged vision loss are not really known by the reporter.
Yes, there are cases of patients who have lost vision from LASIK; but those cases are exceedingly rare, and, with advances in technology, becoming rarer. Most patients are surprised to hear that the risk of vision loss is actually greater from contact lens wear than from LASIK. You mean you can lose vision from contact lenses? Yes, and every year patients, some of who were afraid to have LASIK, lose their vision from contact lens associated corneal infections.
So, if you don’t want to wear glasses or find they interfere with your ability to function in your job or leisure activities, making the transition from contact lenses from LASIK really does not increase your risk of vision loss. And, as numerous studies bear out, actually saves you money in the long run.
How then do you maximize your chance and minimize your chance of vision loss from a LASIK procedure? Well, first make sure you actually are a good LASIK candidate. Go to a surgeon who can offer more than just LASIK. If you are not an excellent LASIK candidate,just don’t have it: do something else like implantable contact lenses or advanced surface ablation. If you are a good candidate, make sure you are being offered the best and safest technology. IntraLase LASIK has been shown to be the safest LASIK technology for the great majority of patients so insist on this. The decision to have vision correction is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime so why would you go to someone who offers only LASIK and worse yet, why would you choose someone because they offered the lowest price? Over the years, thousands of Raleigh are patients have chosen Dr. Dean Dornic of the Laser Eye Center of Carolina. His opinion can be trusted because he can offer more than just LASIK. To make an appointment for a free, no obligation consultation just call 1-888-376-EYES and we’ll get you started on the road to visual freedom.

LASIK Now for Summer Fun Later

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Summer for many people means fun in the water.  But swimming and other water activities with contact lenses are contraindicated for safety reasons.  There are no contact lenses approved for use in the water and soft contact lens manufacturers place specific warnings about wearing contact lenses in the water. Contact lens wearers are especially prone to a devastating eye infection from the Acanthamoeba organism which is found in lakes, hot tubs and other contaminated water sources. Some eye doctors suggest air tight goggles over the contacts but these are not fail safe. Prescription glasses and goggles may not be comfortable or practical for all water activities.
Many patients have found LASIK or other vision correction procedures the answer to increasing their enjoyment of water sports and other outdoor activities. But to take full advantage of a summer of spectacle independence, you’ll need to plan now. That’s because LASIK has it’s own set of restrictions. First, wavefront guided LASIK generally requires at least one to two weeks out of your contact lenses (glasses only) before the procedure. Then, you’ll need to stay out of the water and avoid contact sports for one to four weeks after.
So, if you’ve been looking forward to summer and would like to enjoy such activities as swimming, surfing and yes, even scuba diving why not call today for a free, no-obligation consultation to find out if there is a vision correction procedure that is right for you. We are centrally located for Cary, Raleigh LASIK candidates and we offer convenient evening consultations.