Contact Lenses and Laser Eye Surgery

The main reason I am considering either of those over my glasses, because it seems like the glasses interfere with 3D vision and I want to improve in my sport, but I am not too sure about that at all.

Has any of you gotten either done and had significant improvements in other areas of life, like communicating with people or playing sports?

Do contact lenses have the same effect as doing the surgery?

Lasik was awesome. No lenses at all until I hit my forties and my eyes aged. My husband did it and ended up with better than 20-20, the fink. I have no regrets at all about doing it. It made a huge difference for things like skiing and scuba.

I wear contact lenses now, and they are much more comfortable than they used to be. You could certainly try them as a first step and see what you think. If the improved vision helps as much as you want, you can stick with the lenses or take a look at laser surgery.

The surgery has the advantage of not requiring you to stick something in your eye in order to achieve good vision. The disadvantage, of course, is that it’s minor surgical procedure and there are some risks associated with it. If you choose a doctor with experience, those risks should be minimized.

I had Lasik and it’s WELL worth it. Probably the best thing I’ve ever spent money on.

I think it depends on the prescription of your glasses. A relatively minor correction probably means glasses are fine. That said, I’m speculating, because I haven’t experienced a “relatively minor correction” since I was a kid :frowning:

I’ve worn contact lenses since high school, and my experience is that my vision is essentially perfect, with no distortions. I believe the vision experience is pretty much the same as someone who was born with perfect vision. I think laser eye surgery can get you there too.

Glasses with a very strong prescription are absolutely a pain when it comes to navigating a 3D space. My glasses distort things greatly. Everything is in focus, but distance is off, and I’d be uncomfortable driving in that state. I have none of these issues with contact lenses, which I think is what you’re asking about.

Personally, I’d probably go with LASIK over contact lenses if possible just to avoid having to deal with contact lenses. They aren’t a huge pain but still another daily routine chore. You can get contact lenses rated for overnight wear, which I do, but I think you’re increasing the risk of infection. Unfortunately I’m not a good candidate for LASIK due to already overly thin natural lenses. I think there are some other options that I might look at when I’m a little older and they’ve been on the market for longer. When it comes to my eyeballs I’m not an early adapter!

I have worn soft contact lenses for the last 35 years. I have no problems with them and wear them about 14 hours per day. I definitely prefer contacts over wearing glasses. I have looked at Lasik, but my ophthalmologist has warned me that I am not a good candidate because my corneas are too thin. Lasik is achieved by using a laser to reshape your cornea. Your corneas need to be thick enough to save room for corrections. I am a candidate for inter ocular lens implant, essentially the same procedure they use for cataract patients, but was approved about 10 years ago for corrective vision surgery. It’s about the same price as Lasik, but still a surgical procedure.

If I had difficulty with wearing contacts, I would probably consider the IOL implant surgery, but I don’t so, I’ll stick with contact lenses.

Fuck contacts. DO THE LASIK! It drastically changed my life.

How old are you? If you are anywhere near 40, you will probably be getting presbyopia soon. That means that, even with Lasik, you will probably still need reading glasses before long. Not that that makes Lasik not worth it; it’s just something to remember.

This is yet another thing that varies greatly from person to person.

LASIK can be wonderful and there are many, many people for whom it was fantastic. That said, it’s not for everyone - be very careful about choosing a surgeon and get the most unbiased/impartial evaluation you can before the surgery. Some people are at higher risk of complications than others and if you’re high risk you really might want to forego that one.

Contacts, again, work very well for many people but not all. One advantage over LASIK is that contacts is reversible - if you get the wrong prescription, they start causing problems, whatever, they are very removable. LASIK is not something you can undo.

Glasses can certainly be a pain in the ass. In my case, I stick with them. They’re a very strong prescription but because I’ve worn them for decades my brain has adapted and “edits out” the distortions. My depth perception isn’t perfect, but it’s sufficient for everything I do that requires judging depth and spatial relationships. I have found that you get what you pay for with glasses - I pay “too much” but I get MUCH better results than some folks I know who are always looking for bargains.

Glasses for for me. Others swear by contacts. Otherwise thing LASIK is sent from heaven. But do not that people who get LASIK will still often wind up with reading glasses after their 40’s - but more likely over-the-counter, cheap, and widely available at your local drug store “cheaters” rather than more expensive prescription lenses.

One thing to be VERY wary about is using LASIK to have one eye corrected for distance vision and the other for near vision. While that can work well for some people not everyone can adapt to that and it can also negatively affect your depth perception. You can try this out prior to surgery with contacts that give the same effect - if this is suggested PLEASE try it out with contacts first. You will find out if your brain can adapt to this with a reversible technique before using a permanent one. (Apparently, women are more likely to adapt well to this than men, and how much depth perception is impaired, and how much it matters to someone, is widely variable and unpredictable).

One thing you need to consider is once in your 40’s your Rx can change, and if you have laser surgery it may need to be redone or you may need contacts or glasses.

This is a important detail. Can your eyes do both distance and reading distances? As one ages, particularly in their 40’s that ability gets limited as the lens stiffens and can’t adjust. This can cause one who has contacts to also require glasses at times.

What the above cited post is called is monovision, it sets up one eye for distance and one for reading, but as pointed out many people have trouble adjusting to it. I have this with contacts and adjust just fine and can actually switch my distance and reading eyes with no hinderance or discomfort. This seemed to be primarily because one eye was not used much due to it being significantly weaker, but used enough that it tracked correctly. The different focal planes still was used somewhat however. Well that’s how it was explained.

I currently use monthly contacts, which I leave in at all time and sleep in. It doesn’t seem to be much of a problem except that ‘time of the month’ (when I need to change them). Perhaps eyedrops 2-3x / month. However when I had daily disposable ones it drove me crazy.

I had IOL implants a few years ago and it was life-changing. Of course, I was nearly blind from premature cataracts, to the point where corrective lenses couldn’t help me, so almost anything would have been an improvement. Still, I can highly recommend IOL for people who need something more than contacts or glasses can offer.

I had monovision lenses implanted at the recommendation of my doctor, and have had no problems. Of course, I’d been mimicking monovision for years with contact lenses, so my doctor was confident I’d adapt well.

Lasik was never an option for me due to my crazy high prescription.

LASIK was the best money I ever spent. It has been awesome. I wore glasses and contacts for about 15 years and I always hated them–glasses for the annoyance, reduction in peripheral vision, and chromatic aberration; contacts for the annoyance, occasional pain, and poor correction for astigmatism.

As others have said, some aren’t good candidates, so check with your doctor.

I started wearing glasses when I was about ten, then got contacts in my twenties. I switched back and forth sometimes wearing my glasses, sometimes contacts. In my thirties, I got laser eye surgery. Every day I appreciate the gift of being able see with just my eyeballs. Now that I’m in my fifties, I need reading glasses, but that is an age-related deterioration that the eye surgeon warned me would likely happen with or without surgery. It was expensive, but worth it. Plus I haven’t had to pay for new glasses (aside from dollar store readers) or contact lenses for twenty five years.

This is exactly my situation except I’ve only been wearing contacts for 30 years (current on -7.0 diopters).

Yeah, this is what I experienced when I went to get Lasik again. They said “Sure, we can fix you up, but then you will need reading glasses”.

I told them “But I don’t need reading glasses now, why would I need them after you correct my eyes for near-sightedness?”

They said “Because you are old, and that’s what happens when you are old” I’m 45.


I went for laser about 10 years ago and wasn’t a good candidate so I went with IOL. It has made my life so much simpler. Waking up and seeing the alarm clock, never needing to lug contacts and solution travelling/camping/etc, easily playing sports - it’s been a tremendous change for me.

Thanks for the advice!

I decided to try contact lenses and I am just waiting for them to arrive.

I am not a candidate for LASIK. I’ve been wearing Gas-Permeable Rigid contacts for more than 30 years. My optometrist and I are looking forward to cataracts so I can get IOLs, because my eyes are bad enough that contacts can’t fully correct my vision.

I think you’re making the right choice, molten.

You don’t need to get cataracts to have the IOL procedure. It can be done well before that. Now it may not be covered by insurance without the cataracts, but you should probably inquire with your doctor and insurance company.


I have tried to put the contacts on and I just can’t do it. I did manage to touch the white part of my eye a little on the edge but I am terrified what will happen when I have to pinch to get them out. Having someone else do it wouldn’t help.

Any tricks?

Are there any upcoming treatments apart from contacts or risky (dry eyes etc) surgery the next 10 years or so?

Didn’t the eye doctor have you put them in at the office?

When you take them out, you don’t actually touch your eye, just the contact.