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How Much Money Is Lasik Eye Surgery

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

Would you be able to give a response to the question, “What was the best money you ever spent?”

Personally, I would. My Lasik eye surgery three years ago was the finest investment I’ve ever made. Not having to wear glasses or worry about damaging my eyes means that the $2,500 I spent on surgery was money well spent.

The problem is that not everyone shares this view. Some people just can’t justify the cost of Lasik surgery. Since there is also a small chance of difficulties, the exorbitant price is not justified.

What do you think? That, of course, is a question of your own values and priorities. You’ll place greater value on some advantages than someone else may. Decisions will be influenced by a wide variety of circumstances. For this reason, I will try my best to detail the benefits and drawbacks, as well as the associated costs, so that you may make an informed choice.

Benefits

I don’t even know where to begin listing the benefits.

  1. What I liked best about my Lasik procedure was how it improved my sense of self-worth. You may think I’m crazy, but I’ve always felt like a nerd in eyeglasses. Because I no longer have to use them, I feel much better about myself. Could you give me an estimate? No way.
  2. It’s hard to put a figure on the comfort of being able to lie down on the sofa while watching a movie, something I never could have done while wearing my glasses because they constantly smacked into my face.
  3. The ability to see is a further advantageous feature. Although it may seem obvious, you don’t have to wake up to a foggy world until you put your glasses on. This is especially helpful in the visually-oriented modern world.
  4. If you choose Lasik, you won’t need new eyewear like glasses or contacts again until you’re a senior citizen. Obviously, if you get the operation later in life, you’ll need to supplement it with reading glasses. In either case, the procedure can end up saving you a lot of money.
  5. A further advantage? Sports. After undergoing Lasik eye surgery, athletes may focus only on the game at hand without worrying about their glasses or contact lenses. Better results are possible for you as well.

Now, each individual will place a unique value on each of these “life improvement” advantages. Most importantly, I rely on my own sense of assurance. But for a football player, the reward he can’t place a figure on is the ease with which he can participate in sports. In this group, everyone has their own set of motivating factors.

Drawbacks

Similar to any other surgical procedure, Lasik might have unexpected consequences:

  1. Dry eyes, problems with the eye flap, incorrect or excessive correction, infection, and the inability to see at night are all potential side effects. Despite their uncommon occurrence, the hazards associated with these problems are real.
  2. One of the most prevalent side effects is impaired night vision. My own family members who have undergone Lasik eye surgery—my dad, aunt, and cousin—have all reported difficulty with nighttime driving. Prior to their surgery, they experienced nighttime vision problems, including the appearance of halos and starbursts.

According to USA Eyes, however, this is a frequent complication after Lasik that often disappears within six months.

  1. This is something that I personally went through. The eye surgery I underwent made it hard for me to see in the dark. A month later, though, my vision had returned to normal.
  2. A research published in March 2006 in the American Journal of Ophthalmology found that 36% of patients had dry eyes after undergoing Lasik. Extreme dry eyes are a rare but serious consequence of dry eye syndrome, according to most doctors.
  3. The 1% chance of a really bad side effect doesn’t exceed the potential advantages for many individuals. That’s just too much to pay. As for myself, I balanced the potential rewards against the potential drawbacks and decided to go anyhow. Once again, this is something you should think about on your own terms.

Cost

Refractive Surgery News reports that the typical cost of Lasik in the United States is $2,150 per eye. It’s considered optional, so insurance companies often won’t cover it. When calculating the monetary return on investment of Lasik, it is helpful to take into account the following details:

  • Calculate your annual costs for glasses and eye exams first. The answer to this question might be very different depending on whether or not you have vision insurance (many individuals do not) and on the extent of your coverage.
  • Now you need to estimate how much money you will spend on glasses or contacts over the course of your whole life. Keep in mind that inflation typically runs at about 3%.
  • Look at these expenses and how they compare to the one-time payment for Lasik surgery. You should also try to put a monetary figure on the intangible advantages of a greater quality of life. In the next paragraph, I will go through several potential tax deductions and surgical discount options.

Safe Savings Methods

  • According to USA Eyes, if your insurance company has a contract with a certain Lasik physician, you may be able to obtain your Lasik procedure at a discounted fee. If you want to save money on your doctor’s visit, you should call your insurance provider beforehand.
  • One method to reduce the financial burden is to use a Flexible Spending Account. To put it another way, you may put away money throughout the year for the operation and then utilize those tax-free funds to pay for it.
  • You can deduct the cost from your Federal income tax return provided certain conditions are met (make sure you ask your financial advisor or research your specific situation).
  • Inquire about pricing reductions from your doctor. My Lasik surgeon, for example, gave special rates to people in the teaching profession, emergency services, and the armed forces.

Bottom Line

To what extent do you know about Lasik surgery? Certainly, do share your story with me if this is the case. Did you get your money’s worth? Do you regret not starting sooner? Or, did you find that you didn’t get the benefits you were hoping for, while paying a hefty price?

Please join in; I think this will be an informative topic for anybody thinking about getting Lasik. Your feedback on this is much appreciated.

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