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    LASIK rivals contact lenses in visual acuity and comfort

    More than half of contact lens wearers in study cite symptoms/complaints, related infections

    A comparison of patients using daily wear contact lenses (CLs) and those who underwent wavefront-guided LASIK strongly indicated that the latter provides better subjective results and better binocular uncorrected visual acuity.

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    Those were the findings of a retrospective, comparative multicenter study of the two types of vision correction undertaken by Steven Dell, MD, and Steven Schallhorn, MD. Drs. Dell and Schallhorn are in private practice in Austin, TX, and San Diego, respectively.

    Related: Looking back—and ahead—at LASIK’s potential

    Patients who underwent LASIK were evaluated 1 month and 5 years after the procedure.

    The patients who participated in the study were aged 18 to 39 years, had myopia ranging from 0.24 to 6 D and astigmatism up to 1.5 D. All patients had best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or higher.

    The study groups included 1,232 patients who wore CLs habitually, 3,502 patients who underwent LASIK and completed the 1-month post-LASIK evaluation, and 1,351 patients who completed the 5-year post-LASIK evaluation. Study endpoints were monocular and binocular distance visual acuities at 1 month and the subjective outcomes at 1 month and 5 years postoperatively.

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    The vast majority of the CL wearers used daily disposable soft lenses (49.3%) and frequent replacement soft lenses (38.5%).

    Drs. Dell and Schallhorn reported that at 1 month postoperatively, the monocular visual acuities were similar for CL and LASIK patients, with 85% and 88%, respectively, achieving 20/16.

    The binocular distance visual acuity of 20/16 was achieved by 81% of CL wearers and 96% of LASIK patients without correction.

    More: Learn how curiosity propels astigmatism innovations

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