The simplest, safest way to correct
refractive errors, such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism
Most people can wear glasses.
and predictable vision correction to within 0.50
diopters of the desired result
expensive than contact lenses or surgery; easier to take care of than contact
Unlikely to cause side effects because they never touch the
Available everywhere and can be changed easily as
your vision changes
Unacceptable in some types of work (such as
firefighting) or in active sports (although some athletes wear prescription
goggles during sporting events)
You may feel they are inconvenient,
uncomfortable, annoying (they tend to fog up in humid or cold environments, for
example), or unattractive.
Can be broken or lost
Eliminate the need to wear eyeglasses all the
Provide better peripheral (side) vision than
A wide range of lens types is available to meet
Cost more than eyeglasses but less than surgery
(though surgery may be less expensive in the long run if it allows you to go
without glasses or contacts)
You may prefer the way you look
wearing contacts rather than eyeglasses.
Cleaning and disinfecting your contact
lenses can be complicated and inconvenient. You need good hand-eye coordination
to clean, insert, and remove the lenses.
Increased risk of corneal
infections, scratches, and scrapes
Can be easily damaged or
Some people can't wear contact lenses
Yearly costs include the lenses and the solutions to clean and disinfect them. The costs are greater for people who have to replace their lenses
or change prescriptions regularly.
You may no longer need to wear corrective
lenses (glasses or contacts) after surgery.
You will not have to
bother with the daily cleaning and care of contact lenses.
out to be less expensive than glasses or contact lenses over the long term, if
you don't need corrective lenses after surgery
Some people still need corrective lenses
Long-term risks are still unknown.
of complications (though complications that threaten vision are
Skilled surgeons may not be available in all
Surgery and follow-up care are expensive.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this