Could Laser Eye Surgery Be Better Value Than Contact Lenses?
If you’ve ever considered having Laser Eye Surgery to correct your prescription, it’s likely that you have also spent some time weighing up the costs and asking yourself, “Is it really worth it?”. The cost of treatment can be enough to put some people off – at least for the time being – but in the grand scheme of things, could Laser Eye Surgery actually be better value than contact lenses?
It might seem silly to suggest that Laser Eye Surgery is cheaper than contact lenses. Surely, the little plastic discs you stick in your eye day after day are much more cost-effective, right? Well, yes – initially.
However, if like the 3.4 million children in the UK today, you were diagnosed with a refractive error in childhood, you’ve likely worked your way through a whole lot of those plastic discs in your lifetime, and many more will be needed in the years to come. And the cost of contact lenses can really start to add up.
When using contact lenses, and glasses for that matter, you are essentially renting clear vision. In that case, maybe it’s worth asking yourself a question that most people can answer easily when it comes to other purchases (such as buying a house): Why rent when you can own?
What is the cost of contact lenses?
Let’s take a look at the average cost of disposable lenses in the UK. According to Specsavers, the cost of contacts typically ranges from £24 to £55 per month for 30 pairs – and multifocal and toric lenses can cost even more. This means that the average daily contact lens wearer can expect to pay between £288 and £660 per year!
That means that your refractive error could be costing you anywhere between £2,880 and £6,600 every ten years. Assuming an annual inflation rate of 5.2% your grand total would be between £4,780 and £10,030!
And that’s without considering the other costs that may be involved in wearing contacts, namely:
- Contact lens fitting (performed by an optometrist), regular checks either every 6 or 12 months and any appointments that may arise a complication of contact lenses;
- The cost of contact lens solutions unless you wear daily disposable or continuous wear contact lenses.
A contact lens fitting appointment can cost anywhere between £20 and £50 and around the same for a contact lens check. Over the year, this can add £100 or more to your annual costs.
How does Laser Eye Surgery compare?
The chances are you are pretty shocked by the figures highlighted above – and with good reason. The fact is, contact lenses are much more expensive than we may first realise, but could Laser Eye Surgery really be cheaper?
Well, at London Vision Clinic, the cost of Laser Eye Surgery treatment starts at £5,500 for both eyes (around the same as the lower estimate calculated above!). Over the same 10-year period, this would come to £550 per year – that’s a little over £1.50 per day.
So, in reality, Laser Eye Surgery really could end up being cheaper than contact lenses in the long run. And we have only looked at a 10-year period. As the results of Laser Eye Surgery are permanent, you could be enjoying contact-free clear vision for much, much longer than that!
The other costs of contact lenses
The financial cost of contact lenses is not the only thing that should be taken into account. The fact is, contacts have a number of other downsides that could end up costing you more than money.
Having to remove your contacts before going to bed, waking up in the morning to a blurry alarm clock, and the occasional discomfort of irritable eyes, are just some of the more noticeable disadvantages of being a contact wearer.
But they can also have a more sinister cost. Wearing your contact lenses for too long, failing to clean them properly and replacing them incorrectly are all factors that could contribute towards the long-term degradation of your eyesight.
Contact lenses reduce the flow of oxygen to your eyes, which is essential for maintaining healthy eyes. Furthermore, daily contact lens use puts you at a higher risk of developing an eye infection, which in the most severe cases, can even lead to vision loss.
So, maybe it’s time you reconsidered what you thought you knew about the cost of Laser Eye Surgery and said hello to obstruction-free vision.