Today’s LASIK technology could improve night driving and overall patient satisfaction over that possible with contact lens wear, a recent study found. Researchers assessed survey results from both contact lens patients and those being considered for LASIK at 20 sites across the United States. Of the 1,800 total subjects surveyed, 39% were contact lens–wearing control patients, 45% wore contacts at baseline and underwent LASIK, and 16% wore glasses at baseline and underwent LASIK.

In the contact lens control group, the number of patients expressing strong satisfaction with their form of visual correction dropped from 63% at baseline to 54% after the study’s three years. Meanwhile, strong satisfaction sat at 88% and 77% for former contact lens wearers and former glasses wearers who underwent LASIK, respectively. Of the LASIK patients, those 40 years old or younger were more likely to be strongly satisfied than older patients. Beyond that, LASIK patients reported significantly reduced night driving difficulties as well as lower self-reported rates of eye infections, ulcers and abrasions compared with control patients.

The study also found that “the proportion with dry eye symptoms at one, two or three years after LASIK was not significantly increased relative to baseline contact lens wear but was significantly increased relative to baseline glasses use, consistent with many glasses users having tried and abandoned contact lenses because of latent dry eye problems.”

Price MO, Price DA, Bucci FA Jr, et al. Three-year longitudinal survey comparing visual satisfaction with LASIK and contact lenses. Ophthalmology. 2016;123(8):1659-66.