Ask someone who has had LASIK and in all likelihood they will tell you it is the best money they have ever spent. But if you’ve ever looked into the particulars of having LASIK, the $4,000-$5,000 price tag may have you wondering: Is it really worth it? But before you start scouring the internet for a LASIK deal, take a moment and think about how much you are already spending on vision correction. Add up a lifetime of buying glasses (over and over again) or contact lenses (plus solutions, drops, cases, etc.) and suddenly LASIK – even gold standard care and technologies – looks like the best investment ever. We’re talking savings that could easily be in the hundreds and more likely thousands of dollars.
So the question remains – is LASIK worth it? Here are a few facts to help put the investment into LASIK into perspective:
The younger you are, the longer you need vision correcting glasses or contact lenses, the more you will spend on them. Conversely, the younger you choose to have LASIK, the longer you can expect to have great vision WITHOUT glasses and contacts. A point of consideration: LASIK doesn’t stop the aging process. While it can improve your current vision, you may need reading glasses just like most people after a certain age.
Whether You Have Insurance
If you do, count yourself lucky! Vision policies can help lower your expenses related to purchasing glasses and contacts, but doesn’t eliminate all of your vision correction costs. Plus, you may have costs related to the insurance itself in the form of premiums. Did you know some vision policies offer discounts toward LASIK and other vision-correcting procedures? Check your benefits because you just never know what might be covered.
Your Choice of Frames and Lens Coatings
Even if your insurance covers the purchase of glasses, often the cost of the most desirable frame styles won’t be covered entirely. The same goes for certain protective and/or anti-glare coatings or lens technologies. Plus, 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, those “extras” are coming out of your wallet.
Your Choice of Contact Lens Technology
Popular daily disposable contacts, on average, cost about $600 a year. So over 20 years, you will spend $12,000 – or more than twice the cost of LASIK using the most advanced technologies available today. Also, as you age, your prescription is likely to become more complicated, increasing the cost of your contacts. 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 vision, your 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 overtime without incurring additional costs. Check out this blog post to learn more ways to find the funds needed.
So do the math for your own vision correction choices to see if LASIK is a smart investment for you and your vision goals. The American Refractive Surgery Council offers some terrific resources and information on the topic of paying for LASIK, you can find out more here.