Every once in a while I wonder if I should spend the money to get LASIK surgery on one of my eyes. One eye might be enough, as I'm much more nearsighted in one eye than the other. My eye doctor doesn't do the surgery, and still doesn't feel comfortable recommending it. She's actually so laid back she never really tried to get me to wear contacts either-- it's kind of nice to have a doctor who doesn't seem to make any effort to make more money off you!
But I find contact lenses to be kind of annoying... and lenses and glasses cost money too. And I'm vain enough to wish I could wear glasses less often, like many other women who I'm sure are tired of telling themselves they're "working that sexy librarian thing." So surgery is in some ways an attractive option.
Another item from Women's Health magazine:
Average price of LASIK surgery (per eye): $1,956According to the article, there is a new procedure in doing LASIK called "wavefront analysis" that can make the surgery more successful-- better night vision and fewer problems with glare/ halo effects. Also, people who were previously considered bad candidates for corrective surgery, because they were very nearsighted or had large pupils or thin corneas, might now be able to take advantage of new techniques called Verisyse and Visian ICL, which involve implantable lenses. These leave the cornea intact, and allow for a much quicker recovery time. The other technological advance is something called an eye tracker, which makes sure any slight eye movement won't cause problems with the surgery. That aspect of it always freaked me out-- the idea of being told "ok, don't move your eye or else something really bad will happen" and worrying that I wouldn't be able to do it!
Average price of Visian ICL/Verisyse surgery (per eye): $3,981
It's starting to sound like vision correction surgery might be worth looking into...especially if I can save money by only doing one eye. But it's a tough call as to whether $2-4,000 is "worth it." I have bought new eyeglass frames 3 times in the past 10 years. I've also bought 2 pairs of prescription sunglasses. I might have also just gotten new lenses in existing frames one time. I also got two pairs of soft contact lenses that I rarely wear-- they may need to be replaced soon, but I'm not sure how long they're supposed to last. This all adds up to maybe $1500-$2000. So if I figure I spend an average of under $200 per year for glasses/contacts, it would take at least 10 years for the surgery to "pay for itself." Maybe that's not so bad, when you factor in the intangible benefits of not having to wear glasses. Either way, it's not something I'm going to do anytime soon, given all the money I've been spending in other areas. But I will be keeping it in mind for next year.