Modern technology has made our lives exponentially easier. We now have self-driving cars and watches that can track how many calories we’ve burned every day. Yet, when it comes to getting rid of our glasses or contacts and undergoing Lasik surgery, so many of us are afraid to take the plunge. The idea of a laser slicing and reshaping our corneal tissue is downright scary, not just for the obvious reasons, but also because it’s a major financial commitment. So, is Lasik worth it? Let’s crunch some numbers.
According to the official site, the average cost of Lasik is $4,500. That sounds like a large chunk of money to spend in a single go. However, when you consider what the average glasses-wearer spends in a lifetime on vision care, $4,500 really pales in comparison. According to the Vision Council of America, Americans spent nearly $13 million in lenses, $9.6 million in frames, and $4.6 million in contact lenses. The average retail selling price for a pair of prescription lenses is $152.26, and that figure can be slightly more for progressive additional lenses, lenses with anti-reflective coating, and photochromic lenses. Although everyone has different vision needs, the American Optometric Association recommends everyone get an eye exam about every two years. In fact, in 2015, 46 percent of adults in the U.S. received an eye exam, adding up to 113.9 million exams, which cost the population a total $5.93 billion. If you don’t have insurance, a typical eye exam can run anywhere from $50 to $300. In a matter of 30 years, it’s very likely you will have spent $4,500 on eye exams. Even just eliminating regular trips to the optometrist makes Lasik worth it.
We don’t necessarily notice who and who isn’t wearing glasses. They’re a commonplace accessory that for the most part remain inconspicuous on our faces. Yet, a whopping 64.3 percent of the U.S. population wears glasses. Many people don’t like carrying a pair of smudgy glasses around, so they turn to contacts, which are traditionally even more expensive. If you’re nearsighted, you will probably spend around $220-$260 on contacts a year. For those who need their astigmatism or presbyopia corrected, an annual supply of contacts will run them between $500 and $700. Yes, although contacts are only a minimal monthly cost, you will end up spending many thousands of dollars on contacts in a lifetime.
Insurance is usually the major conundrum in deciding on Lasik surgery. Most insurance companies do not cover Lasik because they consider it elective or cosmetic. However, Lasik allows you to pay in 12, 24, or 48-month installments. The longest payment period rings up to $89.06 a month. If you work for a company that offers health savings account or flexible spending account, you can expense your Lasik procedure through that pre-tax program. There are also Lasik financing companies that will offer payment plans. Most of them require you to fill out an application and go through a credit check.
Is Lasik worth it? In the long run, you will save significantly on both time and money by undergoing Lasik surgery. Yet, it’s best to evaluate payment options to make sure you’re paying a feasible monthly amount.
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I paid for my lasik through my then companies health savings account. Lasik for me helped my one eye be about the same as my good eye. Only lasts though for about 10 years, then things start to fuzz out. Also, if you get pregnant after having lasik, the eyes can fuzz out some during that time period for some reason. But lasik only corrected my distance vision, not my up close vision. (Unless I had decide to do one eye for up close the other far away…) I did enjoy having no glasses when I taught yoga though, so bonus!