If you’re tired of your glasses or contacts, you’re probably wondering, “Can I afford LASIK?” LASIK may seem expensive, but it’s important to consider the long-term costs of the alternatives: glasses and contacts. If you’re considering LASIK, here are a few cost factors to think about.
How much do glasses and contacts cost?
A box of contacts usually contains six lenses and, on average, ranges from $25 to $80. Different types of lenses can be more or less expensive than others, but here’s a breakdown of your options:
Most contact wearers use disposable contact lenses. Disposable contacts need to be replaced more frequently than others, which means they add up throughout the year, taking more money out of your pocket. There are differing recommendations on how often disposable lenses should be replaced, but most brands suggest changing lenses monthly. Each box of disposable contacts can cost between $15 and $30 and even more for specialized lenses.
Specialized Contact Lenses
These prices don’t take into consideration people who need more advanced lenses with add-ons like anti-reflective coatings, high-index plastic, polycarbonate lenses, polarized lenses, and single-vision or progressive lenses. These features could add hundreds more to the annual cost.
Toric lenses, for example, are used to correct astigmatism and are more expensive than other contact lenses, costing up to $80 a box. You’ll still need to purchase multiple boxes per year, racking up hundreds of dollars annually on eyecare.
You don’t have to purchase glasses as frequently as contacts, but most people replace their eye glasses annually or every two years because of changing eyesight. On average, a new pair of glasses costs $196. For those who purchase glasses, annually this cost definitely adds up over a lifetime.
How much does LASIK cost?
Instead of purchasing multiple boxes of contact lenses each year or a new set of glasses every time your eyes change, there is a procedure that can correct your vision for the long term. The cost of LASIK may seem daunting, but there are different options for covering it. Many employers allow you to save money for the procedure by setting aside pretax dollars in Flexible Spending Accounts that you can then use to cover the procedure. Additionally, many LASIK providers offer financing options to help you cover the cost of the procedure.
The actual cost of LASIK varies from patient to patient, but as the technology continues to advance, the cost is becoming more consistent. You can expect to pay at least $1,000 per eye for LASIK and figures top out around $4,000 per eye for certain cases. You can get a better idea of what your procedure would cost by setting up a consultation with an eye specialist.
Is LASIK worth it?
While the costs of glasses or contacts may still seem minimal compared to the price of LASIK, there are factors that makes LASIK worth it. It is important to note that the costs of contacts and glasses shown are giving you an idea of the cost per box or set of frames, not the lifetime cost. When you have eyesight that needs to be corrected, you unfortunately have to deal with it for the rest of your life. This means you’ll be buying glasses or contact lenses year after year.
A quick price comparison suggests LASIK is the cheaper choice. For example, if you spend $150 per year on eyewear (six boxes of $25 contacts or $300 on glasses bi-annually), the costs will surpass the cost of LASIK in 20-40 years. That may seem like a long time to wait for an investment to pay off, but there are a few things to remember when making this decision:
- LASIK is designed to be permanent. Other than in very rare cases, there aren’t any follow-up procedures. It’s a common misconception that LASIK will somehow “wear out.”
- Generally speaking, spending only $150 per year on glasses or contacts is relatively difficult. If you spend closer to $200 or $250 per year, LASIK could pay off in ten years or less.
- You won’t have to spend money on things like contact cases, glasses cases, and saline solution, and you will likely be able to spend less on eye drops.
- There is also value in never having to travel with or maintain your glasses or contacts.
If you’ve been living with poor vision for most of your life, it may be time to make a change. No one should have to live with poor vision. As procedures like LASIK become more available to people, many are beginning to reap the benefits of improved vision. Thanks to LASIK, glasses and contacts are becoming a thing of the past.
At Williamson Eye Institute, we are dedicated to assisting our patients with their vision and eye-related needs throughout the years. To find out more about our services, visit our website or call our office to schedule a personal consultation. You can also find us on Facebook or LinkedIn.