LASIK vs. Glasses: Is There a “Clear” Winner?
By Gordon Wong, OD on August 11, 2015
LASIK vs. glasses…in terms of technology, it hardly seems like a fair fight, does it? Sure, glasses have been around for hundreds of years, and they’ve done a great job of correcting vision. Heck, they were allowing people to see clearly before indoor plumbing was even a thing. But LASIK - well, that’s on an entirely different level. LASIK uses advanced laser technology to reshape the cornea so that you don’t have to rely on centuries-old technology to see the world around you with crisp, clear vision.
When it comes to LASIK vs. glasses at our San Diego eye care clinic, GW Eye Associates, we’re not so quick to take sides. We offer both, and both can provide exceptional vision correction. For patients who are willing to undergo a surgical procedure and who are good candidates, modern custom LASIK represents an outstanding opportunity to achieve visual freedom. On the other hand, the technology behind eyeglasses has also continued to evolve, resulting in glasses that can provide high-definition vision.
In other words, the fight is fairer than you might think. It really comes down to your candidacy and your personal goals.
Custom LASIK vs. HD Glasses
There was a time when both LASIK and eyeglasses were limited in terms of the visual errors they could correct. While they could correct the universal errors myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), with or without astigmatism, they could not correct higher order aberrations. This was because higher order aberrations, or tiny imperfections in the shape of the cornea that are unique to each individual eye, were beyond the ability of the then-current technology to measure. This is why many people, even those with vision corrected to 20/20 or better, did not have “perfect” vision.
With the introduction of wavefront mapping technology into the LASIK chain, everything changed. With the wavefront mapping system, it was possible to measure higher order aberrations and create a map that could guide the excimer laser during LASIK surgery. As a result, patients had the possibility of emerging from surgery with vision superior to that which they could achieve with glasses and contact lenses. The correction of higher order aberrations meant that their vision could potentially be sharper and crisper than ever before in their lives, at all distances.
However, eyeglass technology has since caught up. Wavefront technology can now be applied to the creation of eyeglass lenses to produce “wavefront lenses.” These represent just one type of high-definition eyeglass lens, the other being “free-form lenses.” Both of these types of eyeglass lenses provide exceptional vision with reduced glare and other visual abnormalities.
As stated above, the LASIK vs. glasses debate now comes down to personal preference and candidacy as much as anything else. Your candidacy for LASIK will depend on several factors, including the thickness of your corneas, and can be determined during a consultation at our clinic. However, you may be able to determine your personal preference by answering the following questions:
- Do you consider wearing glasses a hassle, or are your glasses just another accessory you put on each morning?
- Are glasses part of your image - a fashion statement, if you will - or do you prefer how you look without glasses?
- Would you like to be able to see clearly from the moment you wake up in the morning?
- Do you get frustrated when your glasses become spotted in the rain or when they fog up when you’re working out?
- Does the idea of updating your look with the latest designer frames excite you?
- Are you apprehensive about undergoing laser eye surgery?
- Do you want to achieve visual independence - that is, bid farewell to having to rely on glasses and contact lenses?
Contact GW Eye Associates Inc.
We can help you resolve the LASIK vs. glasses debate, at least in your case. Contact GW Eye Associates today.
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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.Kathrine Holladay