For some, it’s a necessity, but for the rest of those who wear glasses or contacts every day it’s a question we often ponder. Should we, or should we not have eye surgery instead of paying out for new glasses every couple of years, or contact lenses every month (if you use the disposable kind)?
The debate goes beyond cost though, and although we’ll look at that first, there are other reasons to take into consideration when deciding whether to keep visiting the optician to get it ‘fixed once and for all’.
It’s usually the first factor we look at because numbers are easy to stack side by side and compare. However, it’s not all cut and dried though, as there are a few ‘what if’s’. It’s not just a case of adding up what you are paying for glasses now, multiplying it out by ‘x’ years, and then holding it up against the cost of surgery.
As anyone over the age of 50 who has just seen the price of the varifocals they now need will tell you, the older you get the more expensive your glasses tend to be. On the other side of the coin though, getting eye surgery does not fix your eyes for the rest of your life, and as your eyesight deteriorates naturally you may need glasses in the future anyway.
2. It’s Not Scary
If we’re honest, it’s not just the cost. The thought of having a laser pointed at our eyes, or (in the case of cataract surgery) our lens removed and replaced with an artificial one, is not too near the top of any list of things we’d like to do. However, so much of the negative stuff you hear about eye surgery is based more on gossip rather than much else.
Let’s use an example using what many would consider the more extreme of the two procedures mentioned. It was found that patients who were unsure or had anxiety before cataract surgery said afterward that they wished they had done it earlier. They also said they felt no discomfort during the procedure and it was much easier than they expected.
3. Quality of Life
Compared to many things, having to wear glasses is not exactly life-limiting by any means. However, for those whose eyesight is deteriorating rapidly (for instance, they need more extreme prescriptions each time they visit the optician every couple of years, or sooner), it can affect their mental health.
The thought that you cannot necessarily trust your own eyes can affect your decision making and your self-confidence. Of course, many cases like this result in eye surgery as a necessity, but often many unhappy years are spent before the decision is made.
Even taking these factors into account, nearly everyone will come up with a different balance of pros and cons based on their age and financial situation. But once the myths are debunked it would be foolish to dismiss the option of surgery as being out of hand.