Individuals with glasses and contact lenses are often steered away from LASIK or refractive surgery due to concern for its high cost. Many think of it as a luxury, but when you sit down and analyze the actual cost and benefits of LASIK eye surgery, you may be surprised to find out that it is more affordable than you expected.
The goal of LASIK and refractive surgery is to allow you to do your day-to-day activities independently of the need for glasses or contact lenses. LASIK and PRK (photo refractive keratectomy) are sophisticated outpatient procedures that will reshape the cornea, the clear window of the eye, to correct your prescription. It should give you the freedom to drive, read, and enjoy outdoor activities, such as golf, tennis, and swimming, with clear vision. Patient satisfaction after LASIK ranges from 96-99%, making it one of the most desirable elective procedures in the United States.
Undoubtedly, the LASIK procedure has well-established and long-lasting benefits to patients. What about the cost of LASIK eye surgery?
In the U.S, the average cost of LASIK in 2020 was approximately $2246 per eye. This cost usually includes the initial consultation, the procedure, and post-operative follow-up care, but always be sure to ask what the cost includes during your consultation. Some LASIK surgeons will misleadingly quote lower prices and tack on hidden fees that you may not expect.
There are two different types of pricing structures generally used in refractive surgery practices.
For variable cost structures, there are several factors that can affect the total cost of LASIK.
Practices promising LASIK for less than $1,000 per eye oftentimes only include correction for mild nearsightedness (myopia). If you have farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism, or moderate to high amounts of myopia, the amount you pay may be significantly higher than the advertised price. it is a good idea to do a little more investigating to learn what exactly that bargain price tag covers. Before taking up an offer for LASIK at an unusually low price, make sure you ask for an itemized quote and research the physician and surgery practice so you understand what you are getting. Be wary of hidden fees that are not included in the advertised price.
Having vision correction surgery can save a patient thousands of dollars in yearly vision costs over the course of their lives. The younger the patient is, the more they can save over time. However, there are also many non-monetary benefits of getting LASIK that benefit patients of all ages.
In addition to evaluating the up-front cost of LASIK surgery, patients should also consider the value of getting LASIK surgery over time. The average individual spends hundreds of dollars on contact lenses and prescription glasses every year. Furthermore, an annual eye exam is needed and additional eye care products, such as contact lens solutions, will be purchased.
If you are an individual in your 20s to 30s, vision costs can add up to over thousands of dollars over the span of your life. Consideration should also be given to the costs of contact-lens related problems, such as dry eyes, corneal abrasions, and infections. These problems can become expensive due to additional clinic visits and necessary eye drops for treatment. For those with glasses, replacing lost or damaged glasses can create additional unexpected costs.
Aside from the monetary cost, LASIK surgery can free you from the hassle of having to carry prescription glasses and sunglasses with you, and packing extra items for overnight trips, or worrying about vision during exercise, sports, and water activities. You’ll also never have to worry about glasses fogging up from face masks and indoor/outdoor temperature changes. Lastly, think about how much time you would save without the need for routine or emergency doctor’s appointments and daily contact lens care. Check out our LASIK calculator below to determine your lifetime cost for glasses and contact lenses and see how much you could save with LASIK.
Average cost of supplies: $175
One eye LASIK cost: $2,000
Cost for both eyes: $4,000
Total to be spent on glasses/contacts by the age of 65: $0
LASIK is an investment designed to help you save money and the long-term burdens of contact lenses and prescription glasses over time. If the one-time cost of laser eye surgery seems daunting, keep in mind that most refractive practices and surgeons provide LASIK financing options to break it down into smaller payments over time. These are some of the options to keep the cost of LAISK down:
In most situations, insurance plans do not cover the full cost of LASIK because it is considered an elective surgery that is not medically necessary. However, your insurance plan may offer discounts for LASIK surgery. Call your insurance provider for additional details.
Ultimately, LASIK should serve as an investment to provide you with the freedom to read or watch TV without wearing glasses and to swim or shower without having to worry about your contact lenses. At Milan Eye Center, you’ll get the most advanced technology and award-winning, Board-certified LASIK surgeons. Contact us for a free LASIK consultation today.
Read our Comprehensive Guide to LASIK for more information on LASIK and other types of laser eye surgery, as well as who is eligible for LASIK.
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