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LASIK Safer Than Contacts?

A recent report indicates for the first time that LASIK may be safer than wearing contact lenses over the course of a patient’s lifetime.

William Mathers, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at the Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Medicine, found a greater chance of suffering vision loss from contact lenses than from laser vision correction surgery (LASIK). His findings were published in a letter in the October 2006 issue of “Archives of Ophthalmology.”

The Oregon researchers reviewed studies to gauge the long-term risks of refractive surgery and compared them with studies on contact wearers.

The study found that:

  • Contact lens wearers face a 1 in 100 risk of developing a serious lens-related eye infection over 30 years of use
  • Contact lens wearers also face a 1 in 2,000 chance of experiencing dramatic vision loss as a result
  • The chances of LASIK surgery leading to significant vision loss is about 1 in 10,000

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