The following news story ran yesterday:Lasik Surgery: Safer Than Contacts?
Analysis Shows Higher Long-Term Risk Of Infections For Contact LensWearersOct. 10, 2006″One shouldn’t just assume that contacts are safer. This may have beentrue at one time, but for the average person this is certainly not thecase anymore.”William Mathers, M.D., ophthalmologist(WebMD) The widely held belief that wearing contact lenses is safer thanhaving laser surgery for vision correction is being challenged.A leading eye doctor says contact lens users are actually more likely todevelop complications that lead to vision loss over time than patientswho have Lasik surgery.Based on their review of several large studies, ophthalmologist WilliamMathers, M.D., and colleagues concluded that daily contact lens wearershave about a one in 100 chance of developing a serious lens-related eyeinfection over 30 years of use, and a one in 2,000 chance of sufferingsignificant vision loss as a result.The researchers calculated the risk of significant vision loss due toLasik surgery to be closer to one in 10,000 cases. They reported theirfindings in a letter published this month in the journal Archives ofOphthalmology.”One shouldn’t just assume that contacts are safer,” . “This may have been true at one time, but for the average personthis is certainly not the case anymore.”Between 20 and 25 million people in the United States wear contactlenses; about a million Americans have laser surgery to correct visionproblems each year.”Several times a year, I have patients who lose eyes from complications he says. “By this I mean their eye has to be physically removed fromtheir bodies.”Direct comparisons of the risks vs. benefits of contacts and lasersurgery have been difficult because surgical complications are immediateand the risks associated with contact lenses accumulate over many years.
We agree with these observations. In fact we had theorized about these 10 years ago. LASIK or the even safer SUPERLASIK is a one time event under proper medical guidance.The surgeon especially at our institute know whatto do. Contact lens wear is a daily unmonitored event.