Vision Correction Options: Eyeglasses, Contacts or LASIK?

July 10, 2023 |read icon 4 min read
Woman trying glasses on at an eye appointment.

Research shows that nearly 14 million people aged 12 and older are visually impaired. About 3 million of them have tried vision correction, but 11 million still live with uncorrected vision. People may not seek vision correction because they think their vision is fine. Then one day, they notice that they cannot read signs while driving or see words clearly when reading. Only then do they realize it’s time to schedule an eye exam.

During an eye appointment, the eye doctor will examine the eyes and perform vision testing. If vision correction is needed, the options will be discussed. But sometimes people find this information confusing. Review these tips to compare vision correction options: eyeglasses, contacts or LASIK?


About 64% of people who need vision correction choose eyeglasses. If you’re considering this option, review these pros and cons:


  • Affordable – Many people have employer-sponsored vision benefits. Vision insurance plans typically cover most, if not all, of the eye exam. It also helps cover eyeglass frames and lenses.
  • Choices – There are hundreds of stylish frame designs, and lenses that can be tinted in different colors. Vision insurance may offer benefits toward eyeglasses annually or every two years.
  • Vision correction options – Depending on your vision needs, eyeglass lenses can be single-vision, bifocal or trifocal.


  • Maintenance – Eyeglass frames can be easily bent or broken and the lenses scratched.
  • Vision clarity – Eyeglasses sit on the bridge of the nose, so if not measured precisely, vision correction may not be as clear.

Contact lenses

About 11% of people needing vision correction choose to purchase prescription contact lenses. Consider the pros and cons of this choice:


  • Ease of use – Some people prefer prescription contacts over eyeglasses. Contacts can be inserted in the eye and worn all day. If the eyes become dry, artificial tears help keep the eyes and contacts moist.
  • Multiple options – There are many different contact styles. These options include soft and hard lenses in single, bifocal or trifocal correction. Some contact styles also come in colors.
  • Better vision – Contacts sit directly on the eyes, giving wearers a broader field of vision. It’s a popular option for people who participate in sports.


  • Cost – Contacts must be replaced frequently, so over time, they may cost more than prescription eyeglasses.
  • Infections – If contacts are not kept clean, wearers can develop eye infections.
  • Sensitivity – Contacts may not be a good option for people with severe allergies or sensitive eyes.

LASIK vision correction

Since LASIK eye surgery procedures were introduced in the 1990s, millions of Americans now enjoy improved vision without needing further correction. Review these pros and cons of this vision correction option:


  • Quick – LASIK surgery usually takes about 30 minutes and is painless. After the procedure, most people return to normal activities within a few days.
  • Clear vision – LASIK corrects many vision problems all at once. After surgery, many people say they can see much better and wish they had done it sooner.
  • Freedom – Many people who choose LASIK are thrilled that they no longer need eyeglasses or contacts to see. They can enjoy activities without eyewear.


  • Cost – Vision insurance may not cover the cost of LASIK surgery. However, the surgery is a one-time cost for long-term vision correction vs. regular expenses for new prescription eyeglasses or contacts yearly or every two years.
  • Halos, glare, dry eyes – After LASIK, some people see halos and struggle with glare, but these problems usually go away within a few days. Other people report ongoing problems with dry eyes, requiring regular use of eye drops.

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