April 13, 2017
2 min read

LASIK provides higher patient satisfaction than contact lenses

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Satisfaction levels of 1,800 subjects were higher for those who opted to have LASIK over other refractive error correction options, according to a survey.

It is important to consider LASIK in the context of other vision correction choices, Marianne O. Price, PhD, told Ocular Surgery News. Patients who opted to undergo LASIK scored consistently higher in several categories over subjects who wore contact lenses and glasses.

“Satisfaction levels were consistently higher in the LASIK group as compared with the contact lens control group throughout the 3-year follow-up period. Among those who had LASIK after wearing contacts, 97% felt that LASIK worked better for them. Compared with continued contact lens wear, LASIK significantly improved the ease of driving at night and reduced nighttime visual disturbances such as glare and halos. Most importantly from a safety standpoint, the self-reported rates of eye infections and abrasions were over twice as high every year in the group that continued to wear contact lenses as compared with the rates after LASIK,” Price said.

Twenty centers in the United States enrolled a total of 1,800 participants in the prospective, multicenter, longitudinal survey; 694 subjects continued to wear contact lenses and made up the control group, 819 subjects wore contact lenses and chose to have LASIK, and 287 subjects wore glasses and chose to have LASIK.

Price and colleagues assessed patient satisfaction and outcomes through annual surveys administered over a 3-year period.

Marianne O. Price

Ninety-six percent of the participants who opted for surgery underwent bilateral LASIK and 4% had unilateral treatment, Price said.

Of the 694 subjects in the control group, 96 reported they stopped using contacts during the 3-year follow-up period; 73 switched to glasses and 23 had refractive surgery, according to the study data.

The proportion of subjects who expressed “strong satisfaction” with their treatment method decreased in the control contact lens group, from 63% at baseline to 54% at 3 years. In contrast, 88% of former contact lens wearers and 77% of former glasses wearers expressed “strong satisfaction” with their vision correction 3 years after having LASIK.


“Dry eye was surprisingly prevalent among the contact lens wearers, and the prevalence of dry eye actually improved by 3 years after LASIK as compared with baseline contact lens wear,” Price said.

In addition, those who had LASIK reported significantly lower rates of eye infections, ulcers and abrasions compared with the contact lens control group. Night driving difficulty was also significantly less in the LASIK groups when compared with those who continued to wear contact lenses.

“Satisfaction with LASIK was especially strong among those who had LASIK before the age of 40 years. Although satisfaction may not be quite as strong in presbyopic patients who need reading glasses after having vision corrected for distance, older patients still expressed a high level of satisfaction with LASIK as well as a strong preference for LASIK relative to previous contact lens wear. The high satisfaction with LASIK in this study was consistent with the findings in the FDA-sponsored PROWL studies and with a recent review of the worldwide literature on LASIK,” Price said. – by Robert Linnehan

Disclosure: Price reports her spouse, Francis W. Price Jr., MD, consults for Alcon and STAAR Surgical.