Asked on 29 Jul 2020
I'm thinking of getting lasik but it's quite expensive. So just wondering if it's REALLY worth the money.
My wife has always thought of getting LASIK but never committed to it because it's a pretty pricey procedure. So I can understand why you would have doubts about going through with this.
But since you came to the SeedlyCommunity for advice, let's run some numbers and see if it's REALLY worth the money.
TL;DR: Is LASIK Worth the Money?
From an economic POV, LASIK will definitely pay for itself over time.
Assuming you need eyesight correction starting from Primary 1 (7 years old) till you're 21 years old (recommended age to get LASIK). You'll need to account for 14 years of spectacles or contact lenses before getting LASIK.
Contact lenses: $5,704 (assuming you wear spectacles for 6 years before switching)
LASIK: $4,500 (assuming you wear spectacles for 14 years before LASIK)
After that, the most economical option moving forward would be spectacles. Assuming you live to the ripe old age of 100, you'd only have to spend $3,100.
If you stick with contact lenses for your entire life, it's definitely the most expensive as you'll be spending north of $6,000.
While LASIK costs the most upfront, it's permanent (for the most part) so you won't have to pay any more to correct your eyesight. Making it the middle option in terms of how much you'd spend.
What is LASIK?
For the benefit of those who don't know what LASIK is. LASIK or Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis is a procedure to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. FYI: it is NOT a 'hot' laser which burns off tissue.
Rather, it's a 'cool' laser which vapourises microscopic layers of cells to change the shape of your cornea so that light may be better focused by the eye.
Who is suitable for LASIK?
According to HealthHub.sg a suitable candidate must:
Be at least 21 years old
Have a visual condition not exceeding 1,500 degrees for myopia, 500 degrees for hyperopia, and 400 degrees for astigmatism
Have stable vision without significant increase for the past one year
Have eyes free of injuries or diseases
Not be pregnant
The reason why you have to be at least 21 years old, is because your eyes grow rapidly after birth and again during puberty until age 20 to 21.
So before you even get to whether it's worth it or not, you're gonna have to be at least 21 years old first. And even if you aren't 21 yet, that means you can start figuring out how you'd like to save up in order to afford LASIK.
In personal finance terms, this would be a short-term goal (typically something you aim to achieve with a time horizon of 3 to 5 years).
Is LASIK worth the money?
Let's assume that you (unfortunately) develop myopia when you are Primary 1 or 7 years old. I've shared earlier that you have to be at least 21 years old before you can undergo LASIK. Let's look at your options over a span of at least 14 years.
If you went with a mid-tier option like Owndays.
You're looking at about $100 for a pair of spectacles.
My wife's optician recommends that she changes her spectacles once every 3 years. So if you're wearing glasses for 14 years, you'd be looking to getting them switched out at least 5 times.
In total, you'll spend $500 on spectacles for 14 years.
2) Contact Lenses
If you're active and play sports, or just prefer to go sans glasses. You could get contact lenses.
Usually, you'd graduate to them when you're older, say... in Secondary 1 or 12 years old.
When sticking your finger in your eye doesn't sound like such a scary proposition...
A box of dailies from Acuvue costs $72. Or if you get a whole year's worth, $688.
For 8 years of contact lenses, you'd have spent $5,504.
But don't forget that you still have to get spectacles for the first 6 years, and that would cost you $200. For a grand total of $5,704.
There are many different types of LASIK treatments available. Here are just some of the more popular ones and how much they cost:
LASIK - $3,500 to $4,500
Advanced Surface Ablation (Epi-LASIK) - $3,600 to $4,000
ReLEx SMILE: $5,000 to $6,000
So on average, you're looking at an average of $4,000 to get LASIK. But again, that's only when you hit 21 years old.
Assuming you went with the more economical option (spectacles) before you're 21, you'd have spent a grand total of $4,500.
So... is LASIK REALLY Worth It?
All of my calculations only account for up to 21 years old. You need to look at how much you'd spend in your entire lifetime to really get a sense of which is the most worth it.
If you stick with spectacles till you reach the ripe old age of 100, you'd be spending $3,100 in total.
If you went with the contact lens route, it's already almost $6,000 as is. Also, you probably won't bother wearing contact lenses when you're, say... 50 years old. So you'll need to switch back to spectacles blah blah blah. Either way, you're definitely spending more than $6,000 in total.
For LASIK, it'll cost the most upfront. BUT from what I understand, it's a permanent procedure. Meaning once you get it done, you won't need to spend a single dime on correcting your eyesight. So I'd say that's the middle tier option, and not a bad deal too since you're getting absolute freedom and won't have to live with:
foggy glasses when you step out of cold places
accidentally breaking your glasses and essentially being blind until you get a replacement
the discomfort of sticking something foreign into your eye with contact lenses
potential sore eyes from wearing contacts for prolonged periods of time
In fact, the amount of money you'd spend on dailies could be better spent elsewhere. Like investing for your future. Or going on a holiday with your family or loved ones.
So is LASIK worth the money? Absolutely. But what do I know? I've got perfect eyesight. 😏
31 Jul 2020
12 Aug 2020
I did mine about 3 years ago for close to 4k and I'm not regretting that decision one bit. But I feel that how "worth" it is really depends on your lifestyle.
I do sports quite often and damage/lose my specs quite often. I tried wearing contacts, but they just don't seem to work for me. (Dryness/discomfort etc.) Dailies are okay but it's quite costly if you wear them on a daily basis.
Factoring cost of replacing my specs and wearing contacts, I'd say it was more worth it for me to do lasik (convenience is REALLY priceless).
I did it 12 years ago, I have the best experiences of my life after throwing away all my contact lenses! This convenience that money cannot buy.
I will pay for it even Lasik is double the price. Believe me.
Some said that you must have courage to take the first step to do it because of complications after Lasik but life is short - YOLO!
But please still consult your doctor and get the best one around if you feel uncomfortable. Better to do it when your eyes sight (degree) is confirmed stabilized, otherwise you may not get the best result you want.
04 Aug 2020
04 Aug 2020
It depends on the activities you do!
If you love to do sports/ water activities, doing Lasik would be SOOOO worth because it’s so convenient etc!
I’ve asked an eye specialist, he said Lasik only last you till around 40years & there’s also side effects of doing lasik such as extremely dry eyes etc!!! :)
Do it when you’re 21 y/o when your degrees kinda stabilised & you will be “entitled 19years of good eyesight”
Recently a close friend of mine just went for Lasik.
I heard it is a few thousand bucks per eye.
Whether it is REALLY worth the money or not would entirely depend on how much you want it.
Note that it is not a need, but a want.
So Emotional factor such as want to look better, feel better plays a bigger role.
Of course, there are some people where they have to do it for a medicinal reasons, then, in that case, it is more of a need.
Did lasik 15 years ago and wanted to add my two cents. I agree with a lot of the posters that chose lasik for non financial reasons - imo the benefits of lasik cannot be quantified and fall very much into the convenience / confidence sphere rather than being monetary.
Personally, I experienced dr(ier) eyes after the surgery, also felt like my night vision deteriorated. But I have no scientific proof, just my personal feeling.
Would still do it though. In a heartbeat.
My wife did her LASIK last year and it has been one of her best life changing decision. Even though the costs came up to quite a sum, you still save on the long run because you end up not having to purchase specs and lenses. We experience a situation where she was "blind" when we were on a trip overseas and her specs were washed out to sea during a beach activity. Since it was an island hopping day trip, she spent close to 3/4 of the day staring a blur images of different islands. So I guess it was that moment she decided to go for the op.
I did lasik about 6 years ago and I haven’t regret a bjt since then!
However, I got to admit that my night vision has deteriorated since lasik and that I’m no longer have perfection vision. I have about 25 degrees for one eye but I work fine without spectacles on a daily basis.
LASIK is definitely worth the investment (if you get to do the $3k ones and not the >$5k ones) and water sports like swimming, snorkeling, diving is so much more convenient!
There are several cheaper contact lenses alternatives like Two of a Kind , but I personally opted for the Lasik route due to personal reasons - such as how lenses have caused eye infections for me before! Since I got the procedure when I'm relatively young (20 years old), the lifetime value of Lasik for me is definitely higher because the upfront cost is high, but I won't need to spend on glasses and lenses in the future (say 30 years).
However, that being said, there are still some "hidden costs" of Lasik. Even though it corrects your eyesight permanently, your eyesight can still worsen at some point in life (this varies person to person). I still invested in a pair of blue-light glasses to prevent my eyesight from getting worse as I use my laptop for a large majority of the day. If your eyesight gets worse, your doctor will usually have a "warranty" period where you can touch up your eyesight for a few years, but you'll still have to cover additional things like medication / eye drops. All in all, it depends heavily on your lifestyle I'd say! Hope this helps!