Refractive Error: Treatment Pros and Cons - Topic Overview
Treatments for farsightedness
|Type of correction||Advantages||Disadvantages|
- 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
- Predictable vision
- 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.
- May turn
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.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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Refractive Error: Treatment Pros and Cons Topics