Study: Lasik safer than contact lenses

October 11, 2006

Portland, Ore., researchers have said contact lens users are more likely than Lasik surgery patients to develop complications leading to further vision loss.

Ophthalmologist William Mathers and colleagues at Oregon Health and Science University's Casey Eye Institute said a review of multiple studies revealed that contact lens wearers face a 1- in-100 risk of developing a serious lens-related eye infection over 30 years of use and a 1-in-2,000 chance of experiencing dramatic loss of vision loss as a result, WebMD reported Wednesday.

The researchers said in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology that the chances of Lasik surgery leading to significant vision loss is about 1-in-10,000.

"One shouldn't just assume that contacts are safer," Mathers said. "This may have been true at one time but for the average person this is certainly not the case anymore."

"Almost everyone who wears contact lenses violates some principle of proper use at some point," he said. "Either they don't wash their hands before putting them in or they use tap water (to store the lenses). But infections can occur even when this doesn't happen."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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