The ability to see clearly is one of life’s most precious gifts. And just like many good things in life, good vision doesn’t necessarily come cheap. As you begin your search for the ideal vision correction option, think about the cost of each over time. Here, we will weigh the cost of contacts over a lifetime versus the cost of the Visian ICL.
How Much Do Contacts Cost?
Contacts are one of the most commonly used methods of vision correction in the world. It is estimated that a total of 71 million people use contact lenses to aid their vision every day. But this form of corrective lens does not come without its short and long term costs.
Depending on the severity of your vision correction needs, contact lenses will vary in cost. Some of these defining factors include:
- Contact lens prescription
- The type of contacts you choose
- Where you buy them
In addition to these, other factors that can affect the cost of contact lenses include:
- Manufacturer rebates
- Discounts on bulk purchases
- Frequency of purchases
Because there are so many factors that affect the price of contact lenses, it is difficult to accurately pinpoint how much they will cost for each patient.
But generally speaking, if you are nearsighted and are prescribed a popular brand of disposable soft contact lenses, these lenses frequently are sold at a retail price of $22 to $26 for a box of six lenses.
If you replace your contacts approximately every two weeks, this means you need about five boxes (30 lenses) per eye, or a total of 10 boxes per year. This comes to an annual contact lens cost of roughly $220 to $260 (lenses only).
Caring for your lenses require additional supplies such as using a multipurpose contact lens solution and contact lens storage that's recommended to be replaced at least every 3 months or as instructed by an eye care provider.On average, the cost can range from $15 - $25 per solution with a case per month. This comes to an annual spending roughly $150 - $300. On average, 36.17 million Americans used some type of contact lens cleaning solution in 2018.
These numbers can average out to a cost of $18,000 over a person’s lifetime, though individual costs may vary depending on the severity of one’s condition.
Cost of Laser Eye Surgery
On the other side of the spectrum, the cost of laser eye surgery can range from as low as $299 per eye to up to $4,000 or more per eye. The average price of custom bladeless LASIK eye surgery in 2016 was estimated at $2,500 USD per eye. Geography, surgical experience, technology (e.g., which lasers), insurance benefits, and healthcare savings will all influence the final cost of your laser eye surgery.
In addition to the variables discussed above, many other factors may affect the price of LASIK as well. These include:
- The level of experience and reputation of the surgeon
- The technology that the surgeon uses
- Bladeless vs. Bladed procedures
- The addition of Wavefront technology
- Additional costs and services such as post-operative checkups and other packages may cause the over cost to be more expensive.
After 10 years from getting the initial surgery, about 10% of patients may require an enhancement procedure as a follow up to address their vision changes. This can only be completed if a thorough evaluation done by an eye care professional deems you as a suitable candidate for the surgery. Costs for this range depending on your eye care professional.
Insurance usually does not cover laser eye surgery, unless your job requires perfect vision. Often times though, insurance companies will negotiate reduced rates for its members.
The Cost of Visian ICL
Unlike both corrective lenses and LASIK, the Visian ICL is a long term solution, resulting in costs that are fixed to a one-time fee. When you compare Visian ICL with the long term costs of glasses and contacts, the procedure pays for itself.
The permanent, yet removable lens allows for ease of access if a follow up procedure is needed. Compared to LASIK, a follow up procedure with the Visian ICL will not remove any corneal tissue.
Visian ICL costs vary depending on your prescription, location and provider. Upon consultation with a Visian ICL doctor, you will be provided with the actual costs, financing options and payment plans for your specific procedure.
[Updated June 2019]