Me, myself and eye

Be it driving to a friend’s house, watching a blockbuster movie or going about your everyday routine, living with a vision impairment is a constant challenge for many Aussies.

These days, over 10 million Australians are suffering from eye conditions, including the two most common forms—hyperopia (long-sightedness) and myopia (short-sightedness). In fact, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, one in two Australians have one or more long-term eye conditions.

That means living with glasses or contact lenses is something that many people believe they just have to accept. But thanks to LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery, there are other options available to regain freedom through 20:20 vision.  

But is it worth having LASIK surgery or are glasses and contact lenses just something worth putting up with?

Life without glasses

These days, it’s common to be over the age of 50 and have reading glasses readily on hand. In actual fact, it’s become an accepted right of passage, according to Vision 2020 Australia.

Glasses are now so common in Australia that many people have forgotten, perhaps even lost the “will”, to consider any form of alternative treatment for their vision impairment.

Looking at older Australians, as many as two in three Australians aged 65 years and older claim that losing their sight is worse than a heart attack or losing a limb.

So what happens when you’re not armed with the necessity of wearing glasses?

Firstly, how you experience driving changes dramatically. The requirements set by VicRoads state: “If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to read the minimum 6/12 line, a condition will be imposed on your licence that will require you to wear corrective lenses whenever you are driving.”

Furthermore, if you drive for work or commercial purposes, having a vision impairment may affect your ability to work as extra parameters such as; regular vision testing and medical reports are required.

Another benefit of life without glasses or lenses is for those who live an active lifestyle. Many people living with glasses struggle to participate in many form of sports, or at least have issues with participating to their full potential. Often, sports require goggles, headpieces, masks and other pieces, meaning glasses don’t necessarily make for a comfortable addition to your routine.

LASIK—a money saver

It’s possible to save money on all these sporting investments and further optical investments by considering a permanent eye surgery, such as LASIK.

When crunching the numbers, nearly one in five Australians have skipped their eye examinations within the last two years because prescription glasses or contacts are too expensive.

Not only that, but a life of constantly changing lenses or fixing glasses is a cost that having LASIK surgery would stop you from wearing.

Contacts, the next best bet?  

Contact lenses are as close as you can come to full vision without wearing glasses but they are not ‘the absolute best’ you can get in eye treatment.

In some ways, although boasting a range of benefits in their ease of use, portability and seamless integration into the eye, they can be an annoyance to some people who wear them. This statement is shown to be true by the fact that there are actually only around 680,000 Australians currently sporting lenses, according the latest study from PubMed.

Additionally, there is a range of extra care involved with contact lenses such as: constantly washing your hands; practicing putting the lens in your eye; and having to use a range of antiseptic cleaning fluids.  

The unfortunate moment that you drop a contact lens is most users’ ‘last straw’: hunting through the carpet for an hour before giving up, resigning yourself to another few hundred dollars in replacement costs.

Overall, contacts are a great benefit to the everyday Australian, but they’re not for everyone, especially when LASIK surgery treatment is available.

LASIK—the path to sight

LASIK eye surgery typically takes between 10 to15 minutes, with the patient remaining awake during the process, as there is little to no anaesthesia involved.

Best of all, the results are permanent, it doesn’t break the bank, and you don’t have to take long prolonged time off work or exercise.

Led by Dr Noel Alpins—a recipient of the Order of Australia AM Honour, NewVision Clinics can help you achieve better vision, without the hefty costs. Call 1800 20 20 20 to book your path to 20-20 vision, one eye at a time. Alternatively, head to the online booking form to secure your no-obligation consultation.

Timothy Buttery:

Timothy is a ‘jack of all trades’ freelance journalist based in Adelaide, South Australia. Having worked with the NBL to, Timothy has built an experience base replete with diversity. His latest works include bux mobile banking and Crown Casino. He is from a long line of Doctors and has a medical knowledge base thanks to his contributions to News Corp’s’ The Messenger Newspaper, writing about hospital developments in Adelaide.