Have you been diagnosed with vision problems? Perhaps you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. If so, you’re probably faced with two options: a lifetime of corrective lenses or LASIK eye surgery. Inconvenience and complications aside, you may be wondering “how much will eye surgery or a lifetime of glasses cost me?”
Some people are fortunate to have a vision plan through their insurance. This can cover whichever treatment they choose. But, for most of us, the cost of each treatment matters. Not just to our wallets, but to our health.
In developing countries, it’s not uncommon for folks to go without glasses or eye surgery because they simply can’t afford them. It’s true that visits to the eye doctor, exams, frames, and lenses all add up.
Hold on to your seats (and wallets)! In this post, we’ll talk about the potential damage that contacts, glasses, and eye surgery can have on your bottom line.
The Cost of Glasses and Eye Surgery
Obviously, there are regional factors, personal factors, price concerns, and doctor-to-doctor variables that affect your decision. Then, there are natural alternatives that have their own benefits and prices. Keep in mind that the following costs of glasses and eye surgery are more of a ballpark estimate.
What You’ll Spend on Corrective Contact Lenses
If you’re nearsighted, you’re one of many in the world with this refractive error. It’s also very common for people with nearsightedness to consider getting contact lenses. It’s likely that your contacts will cost anywhere from $25 to $30 for a box of six pairs of lenses.
Most people replace their contacts once every two weeks. So, we can assume that you may need to buy as many as 10 boxes of contact lenses a year. Before exam fees, your contacts will likely cost around $250-$300 every single year.
If you have special issues such as astigmatism, presbyopia, or dry eyes, it’s possible that you may need special contacts. These can run up to $70 a box ($700 a year). As you can see, the cost of contact lenses can add up very quickly.
Besides the cost, you need to consider the potential side effects of wearing lenses. Without proper care and handling, you can infect your eyes with bacteria and cause infections. If you don’t take them out within the recommended time frame, you can cause severe irritation in your eyes. Not to mention the challenges children with vision problems have putting contacts in and taking them out.
What You’ll Spend on Corrective Eyeglasses
Eyeglasses were invented in the 15th century and have been immensely popular ever since. The cost of glasses is a bit trickier to pin down as there’s so much price variation out there. If you’re concerned about how you look, you may want an expensive pair of glasses that make you feel your best.
It’s not uncommon for people to pay as much as $500+ for the “right” pair of eyeglasses. If you’re more moderate and less fashionable, $150 or so is an average price folks pay. Of course, it really just depends on where you shop.
If you’re really strapped for cash, you may be able to find glasses online for $30 or less. The problem with this is that internet glasses have not been fitted to your face shape. They won’t be the most flattering style and you’ll have to wait 1-3 weeks for them to arrive. Depending on where they’re shipping from, of course.
You’ll also have to consider that you may need a couple of pairs of eyeglasses, depending on what your visual and fashion needs are!
What You’ll Spend on Corrective Eye Surgery
Surgery isn’t cheap and LASIK eye surgery is no exception! Though you can find a doctor to operate on your eyes for less, reports say that the average price is about $4500.
Some doctors will charge much, much more and some will charge much, much less. A doctor that seems like a good deal today may not look so hot after a surgery that leaves you with side effects. Some patients have experienced halos, dry eye syndrome, discomfort, and decreased night vision. In severe cases, patients are left with nerve damage in the cornea. So, think twice before you choose the cheapest doc on the market!
Are There Natural Alternatives?
If all this info has left you with a small case of sticker shock, it may be worth your time to investigate natural alternatives to corrective lenses and eye surgery. There are many different things you can do to improve your vision naturally. And, they’re much more affordable than the lifetime cost of glasses or eye surgery.
Start with your diet. The eyes function best when they’re getting enough nutrients. Some of the most important nutrients for vision health are lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Actually, there are 17 key vitamins your eyes need. If you can’t get all these nutrients from your diet, consider a supplement. Just by taking a vision-enhancing vitamin supplement every day, you can improve your vision and keep it strong for years.
Next, start practicing eye exercises. Your eyes’ muscles need exercise and stretching just like your other muscles. Staring straight ahead at a screen all day doesn’t give your eyes much movement. So, implement a vision therapy routine full of stretches and exercises every day.
You may be thinking, “but these natural alternatives won’t work today or tomorrow!” It’s true, the natural route usually takes longer than a trip to the glasses store or even the duration of LASIK surgery. However, these are long-term treatment options that will impact your vision for the rest of your life. When you wear glasses, eventually your eyes will change, and you’ll need a stronger prescription. With LASIK surgery, there are serious consequences that can harm your vision. You can avoid both scenarios by going to the source: your eyes.
When you commit to taking care of your eyes, you’ll see an improvement in your vision. Imagine what you could do with all the money you’ll be saving on corrective lenses or unnecessary surgery!