Is LASIK Worth It? 4 Questions To Ask Yourself

Two young funny woman holding piggy bank talking about Cost of LASIK

What is the best money you have ever spent on yourself? Was it a vacation? An outfit or pair of shoes? Maybe it was a gadget or “toy” such as a jet ski or an ATV.  But if you ask someone who has had LASIK, they will likely tell you that having great vision — without needing to rely on glasses and contacts — is not only worth the cost of LASIK; but, the best money they’ve ever spent. So is LASIK worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. But there are some important factors to consider.

Maybe you’ve looked into having LASIK, but the $4,000-$5,000 price tag has you wondering: Is LASIK worth the money? Sure, there are discounts and deals to be had. But first, perhaps, you should put the cost of LASIK into perspective.  For example, think about how much you are already spending on vision correction. LASIK starts to look like a pretty good deal once you add up a lifetime of buying glasses (over and over again) or contact lenses (plus solutions, drops, cases, etc.).  How much have you spent on something that lasts a week or two, a month or two, a year?  Even the best car you ever own likely won’t last you as long as your good vision with LASIK will. Depending on when you have LASIK, you can expect to enjoy its benefits for years – even decades.

Is LASIK worth it? 4 questions to ask

Still, wondering if LASIK is worth it?  Here are four questions to ask yourself to help put the investment into your vision correction options into perspective:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Do you have insurance?
  3. Are you into fashionable frames and the latest lenses?
  4. What kind of contacts do you wear?

1. How old are you?

How old you should be when you get LASIK is a common question. The younger you are, the longer you will need vision correcting glasses or contact lenses. The longer you need them, the more you will spend on them.  However, if you choose to have LASIK sooner rather than later, you can expect to have great vision without glasses and contacts for years.  LASIK surgery does last forever. However, LASIK doesn’t stop the aging process.  It can improve your current vision, but you will likely still experience age-related vision issues down the road.  This may mean you will need reading glasses at some point.

2. Do you have insurance?

If you do, count yourself lucky! Many vision plans help cover some of the costs of glasses and contacts, but won’t take care of all of your vision correction expenses. You also have to factor in whatever you are paying in insurance premiums into the overall cost of your vision correction. Did you know some vision insurance policies offer discounts toward LASIK and other vision-correcting procedures? Check your benefits because you just never know what might be covered. Understanding how to pay for LASIK is an important part of understanding if LASIK is worth it for you.

3. Are you into fashionable frames and the latest lenses?

Even if your insurance covers the purchase of glasses, often the cost of the frame styles you want won’t be covered entirely. The same goes for certain protective and/or antiglare coatings or lens technologies. There is usually a limit on the number of pairs of glasses insurance covers in a given year. So if you need prescription sunglasses, lose a pair of glasses, or also need reading glasses, you should expect to pay for those on your own.

4. What kind of contact lenses do you wear?

Popular daily disposable contacts, on average, cost about $600 a year. So over 20 years, you will spend $12,000 on contact lenses, which is more than twice the average cost of LASIK  using the most advanced technologies available today.  You should know that, as your eyes age, your prescription is likely to become more complicated, resulting in more expensive contact lenses.  If you are using hard or soft lenses, the cost of solutions, drops, and the cases required to maintain them in a sanitary fashion can quickly add up as well.

Today, there are many ways to pay for LASIK. In addition to helping you decide if vision correction surgery is right for your eyes, your LASIK surgeon may have access to financing services to help pay for your procedure. Some plans have extended periods with no interest that allow you to pay over time without incurring additional costs. 

LASIK is worth it. Understand if it’s the right option for you.

So do the math for your own vision correction choices to see if LASIK is a safe and smart investment for you and your vision goals.

The Refractive Surgery Council keeps you educated with the most accurate information on vision correction. All articles are reviewed by the Refractive Surgery Council Editorial Advisory Board and given the Refractive Surgery Council Verified Seal, this represents our promise that everything we share meets the highest standards in the field of refractive surgery.

Published April 5, 2016
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