Contact Lenses or Laser Eye Surgery For The Big Day?

The time is approaching for the big day and you are pretty much on top of all the planning and organisation and then you suddenly start imaging how you are going to look in your wedding dress. It suddenly dawns on you that you don’t want to be wearing your glasses on the big day! Whilst there is no doubt that glasses are way more fashionable than they ever used to be, very few people want to walk down the aisle wearing them! As an Optometrist it is fairly common for me to encounter these ‘nearly weds’ panicking last minute about how they don’t want to wear their glasses.

Don’t leave it too late

The most important thing is not to leave this decision to the last minute as these things do not happen overnight. You have 2 main options for ditching your glasses and they are contact lenses or laser eye surgery. Whichever one you choose is going to require some time and planning on your part. Let’s look at these 2 options one by one to highlight the main things you need to consider:

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are without doubt the most common solution and their advantages and disadvantages are below.

Advantages of contact lenses :

  • Cheap: Contact lenses are cheap and readily available and you can buy 30 pairs for as little as 25 Euros. This certainly compares favourably compared with the cost of laser eye surgery.

  • Disposable: I would generally recommend daily lenses as it means you don’t have to worry about cleaning them or carrying solutions with you. Daily lenses are also ideal if you want to wear them on your honeymoon as can use them for swimming.

  • Less of a decision: Deciding to wear contact lenses for your wedding is not really something you have to think long and hard about. They are very safe and easily accessible and don’t require much deliberation.

  • Instant results: From the minute you put your contact lenses in your vision will be great.

Disadvantages of contact lenses:

  • Learning to put them in: This is definitely the most frustrating thing about contact lenses as you yourself will have to master the art of inserting and removing them from your eyes. Some people have a strong blink reflex and find it difficult to get the hang of it initially. This is why it is important not to leave the decision to the last minute as it may take you a number of sessions with the optician before you are able to take them away with you.

  • Discomfort: Whilst most people find contact lens comfortable, if you have dry eyes they can start to feel a little gritty after a few hours. If you are not used to wearing them this could mean a lot of blinking on your wedding day!

  • Not permanent: Like glasses, the vision correction you get from contact lenses only lasts whilst you are wearing them.

Laser eye surgery

Whilst more of a drastic solution, a surprising number of people decide to have laser eye surgery before their wedding day. They consider getting married as being the start of their new life and consequently the thought of ridding themselves of their glasses is appealing. The major advantages and disadvantages are below:

Advantages of laser eye surgery :

  • Permanent: This permanent correction of vision can be liberating for people who have worn glasses all their lives. Being able to see the alarm clock first thing in a morning and not having to reach for your glasses if you need to use the toilet in the middle of the night is something most non-glasses wearers take for advantage! It is extremely common for people to break down in tears after having laser eye surgery such is the emotional baggage that is tied in with years of wearing glasses.

  • Convenience: Once you have had your eyes lasered you don’t need to worry about forgetting your glasses or packing your contact lens solutions. Laser eye surgery is particularly great if you play a lot of sport as everyone knows how frustrating wearing glasses can be for sport.

Disadvantages of laser eye surgery:

  • Price: Undoubtedly this is the biggest reason people do not have laser eye surgery. Depending on the exact type of surgery you have and the extent of your prescription, the average cost of laser eye surgery is about 2500 Euros.

  • Big decision: Whilst this is not a disadvantage as such, people generally don’t just decide to have laser eye surgery overnight. You will need to read up about it and do your research to make sure you are ready to have the surgery.

  • Recovery period: Laser eye surgery has improved to the point where most people can return to work and normal activities within just a few days of having surgery. However there are aftercare commitments that you need to stick to following your treatment. Most clinics have follow up appointments at 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, and 6 months post-surgery so you will have to take this into account when booking your honeymoon!

In summary whilst both laser eye surgery and contact lenses are a great option you need to make sure you don’t leave things until the last minute. The best advice I would give you is to book an appointment with your optician 6 months before your wedding day to at least discuss your options. It may be the case that you are not suitable for laser eye surgery and therefore your only option is to go for contact lenses. Either way planning ahead will allow you to remain in control of the situation.

 Guest Blogger Tim Harwood is an Optometrist and founder of TreatmentSaver.com which is a comparison website for laser eye surgery and cosmetic surgery.
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