Contact Lens vs Spectacles vs Laser Eye Surgery

The age old question still remains - which of these three vision impairment aids is better? We've weighed out the ups and downs to help you make a wiser decision!

Near 2020 vision – that's the objective of the three alternatives you see above. They each have their strengths and weaknesses but most people pick any one of them to suit personal preference above all.

Some even go both ways between contact lenses and glasses, while others fix their vision impairment with corrective laser eye surgery. If you're in a limbo between the three, bat your eyes this way because we're about to assess each of them individually.


Commonly known as glasses, spectacles have long been the preferred choice amongst the vision impaired. Why not, it's convenient to handle, cost effective in the long run and can sometimes double up as a fashion accessory (minus the sports part of course).

But the feelings aren't mutual for those with pretty damaged vision compounded by other impairments like astigmatism and the lot. That's because spectacle lenses can cost a limb for added corrections and can make eyes look magnified or vise versa.

Dry eyes is common especially in tropical countries like Malaysia and if you are one of those who suffer that, slipping on a pair of glasses might be a better option than contact lenses. It also offers some form of protection from dust and debris if you have sensitive eyes too.

Its cost effectiveness almost certainly stands uncontested against contact lenses and those with average vision impairment of 400-700 (-4 to -7) would benefit most. Frames and lenses both can cost anything between RM250-RM600 and can be used up to 3 or 4 years. It's definitely the way to go if you're looking to save in the long run (assuming your astigmatism alarm bells aren't ringing).

Contact Lens

They come in different packaging, colours and expiry dates – but their aid to almost perfect vision is nothing short of amazing (within recommended vision impairment range of course). However, with this convenience and privilege comes a couple of pitfalls that most people choose to do without.

From experience, this writer has suffered eye infections and inflammations during the course of his decade with these pupil-sized lenses. These are amongst the potential hazards one may face if they choose to go down this route. It definitely is a no-no if you have dry eyes too.

From a convenience stand point however, contact lenses are perfect for the outlook conscious and sports junkies. You could do almost anything a person with perfect vision is able to (except fly a plane) and that is certainly a privilege most patrons in the optical landscape would fork out a big buck for.

Other pitfalls where contact lenses are concerned include having to stick them onto your eyeballs on a daily basis (which a lot are afraid of), sleeping with them on by accident (risk corroding your cornea) and the hygiene aspect too. One who swings this way would have the option of picking between daily and monthly lenses, both costing about RM160 (for a pack of 16 pairs) and RM90 (for 3 pairs for equal number of months and initial solution) respectively.

Laser Eye Surgery

A laser eye surgery is almost like being given a second chance at life, except this concerns vision and it comes with a pretty hefty price. Some desperately pick at their savings for the surgery while others will save for an entire lifetime (well, almost) to be able to wake up in the morning and read the little writing on the toothpaste tube.

In a nutshell, laser eye surgery or LASIK will give you near perfect vision (if not, perfect) and you would be able to participate in most endeavour expressed in the paragraph about contact lenses (just the good parts of course). However, this luxury won't last you a lifetime as vision tends to deteriorate over time and there have been a few cases of relapses in the past.

Fret not though as the odds stack up in your favour considering these cases are rare, but cases of needing the use of reading glasses in the future are indeed pretty common. For the price of about RM2,500-RM3,500 per eye (conventional or modern correction methods), we're sure many that have undergone the surgery are happily satisfied and urging others to jump on the bandwagon – and we can totally understand why!

Is There a Verdict?

If you're wondering what the answer to the above question is, it's a simple no. Like we mentioned in the introduction, it boils down to plain personal preference. Also, certain restrictions like vision impairment (or commonly known as 'power') thresholds are imposed on the use of contact lenses and laser eye surgery, leaving some with no choice but to use glasses.

However, if you happen to be torn between the three of the above alternatives, you would now be able to weigh out the options in transparent fashion and pick the method that would suit your finances and eyes best.

If you are considering a personal loan for the big move (eg: LASIK), let us help you pick the best financial boost. Have you experienced any of the above alternatives in a manner that is worth sharing with others? Speak to us in the comments section down below – we'd love to hear from you.


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