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LASIK Pros and Cons: A Guide to Help You Decide

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Over the last 25 years, an estimated 25 million eyes have been treated with LASIK. Every one of these patients weighed the pros and cons of the surgical procedure and chose to get the surgery. Most people find the benefits outweigh any risks.

The obvious benefit of LASIK involves glasses and contacts. After surgery, you may not need these devices as much or even at all.

The major drawback involves cost. Many insurance companies won’t cover all the associated fees, and without savings accounts or other funds, it could be difficult to pay for the procedure.

Your doctor can explain how the surgery works and help you decide if it’s the right time to get the procedure. Keep reading to find out what you might discuss.

Pros of LASIK

About 12 million people 40 and older have some kind of vision impairment. If you’re one of them, you might be tired of wearing glasses or contacts all the time. 

LASIK is a permanent treatment for issues like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Reducing your reliance on vision aids is the main benefit of LASIK. 

Other benefits include the following:

  • Speed: LASIK takes about 20 minutes to complete, and you can go home the same day.
  • Quick healing: Most people start to see better almost immediately after surgery. 
  • Reduced risk of infection from contacts: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many contact lens wearers don’t take care of their devices as instructed, raising the risk of infection. After LASIK, you won’t need to wear contacts, eliminating this risk. 
  • Permanence: During LASIK surgery, your eyes are reshaped to amend your vision. That change lasts forever.
  • Ease: LASIK means no looking for glasses when you need to drive, walk the dog, or get up in the middle of the night. 
  • Potential cost savings: You may not need to buy contact cleaning fluid, new glasses, or other eye maintenance products. 
  • Little pain: Patients don’t feel discomfort during surgery, and there’s very little pain in routine cases. 

There are huge benefits to the convenience and stress relief of seeing well without wearing glasses that may slip off your face or putting in contact lenses that can become uncomfortable during the day.

Male hands holding glasses for you to look at two businessmen shaking hands

Cons of LASIK

Although you may want the convenience of normal vision without corrective wear, potential side effects and health impacts may mean LASIK is not the right choice for you.

Drawbacks associated with LASIK include the following:

  • Potential side effects: Less than 1 percent of surgeries involve side effects. Side effects include hazy or blurry vision, trouble with night vision, sensitivity to light, itchiness or scratchiness in the eyes, dry eyes from less tear production, discomfort or pain, and glares, halos, or starbursts around light. Some side effects may become permanent, and they can be uncomfortable.
  • Continued use of glasses or contacts: If your vision is not properly corrected, you may need to continue wearing glasses or contacts until you can have a second surgery, called a retreatment or enhancement, to bring your vision up to normal.
  • Need for eye protection: Although your vision improves within a day, healing the corneal flap takes much longer. Any amount of trauma to that area, including accidentally rubbing your eyes, hitting your head, or jostling the eye during high-impact sports, can dislodge the flap and lead to more serious vision problems.
  • Changing vision requirements: If your eyes continue to change, even if you are within the standard age range, you may need LASIK again.
  • Finances: Cost is an issue. Your insurance may partially cover LASIK, but it is an elective procedure for nearly everyone, and it can be expensive.
  • Career: Some people’s jobs require that they do not undergo surgical procedures that could impact their vision even if they need corrective wear.

Some of these risks can be avoided with conversations and planning, but others might keep you from choosing LASIK surgery. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision.

Ultimately, pursuing LASIK is a personal choice. If you want greater convenience in your life and safety while driving or performing other activities, and you do not want the hassle of getting new prescriptions, then LASIK is a great option for you. If you are more than a little concerned about any side effects, you may pursue alternatives to good vision.

LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK—short for Laser-Assisted-In-Situ Keratomileusis—is the most commonly performed laser eye procedure in the world. It’s one of the safest and most effective ways to correct vision, and NVISION® surgeons are leaders in the LASIK field. NVISION® Eye Centers offer Custom LASIK, a procedure more customized to your individual eyes.
Learn More About LASIK


  1. The 25th Anniversary of Laser Vision Correction in the United States. (March 2021). Clinical Ophthalmology.
  2. Fast Facts About Vision Loss. (December 2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  3. Germs and Infections. (November 2022). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  4. Is Eye Pain Common Post LASIK Surgery? (January 2012). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

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