Is LASIK a Good Financial Investment?

Woman saving her money for LASIK

It’s no secret that LASIK can be a little pricey, at least as an up-front cost. But while the surgery itself is expensive, it’s usually a one-time expense.

Other vision correction methods need regular updating, whether it’s a new pair of glasses every few years or ordering new contacts. Could replacing glasses or contacts with a one-time surgery like LASIK save you money in the long run?

Keep reading to find out if LASIK is a good financial investment!

Cost of Glasses

The cost of glasses can vary based on different factors, including prescription strength, special coatings, and vision insurance. But the average pair of glasses isn’t cheap, even with your standard vision insurance.

And, of course, vision insurance itself is a cost factor that LASIK can cut out altogether. So let’s keep things simple. The average price of a pair of glasses is around $240. Let’s be generous and call it $200.

Cost of Contacts

Contact lenses vary greatly in price. The average cost of contacts can be as low as $150 a year for very basic contacts with a mild prescription.

That can be around $1,500 a year for higher-end contact lenses for more severe prescriptions. For our purposes, let’s be generous again. Let’s say you spend $300 a year on contacts.

Cost of LASIK

LASIK prices can also vary, but they tend to be between $1,000 and $4,000 per eye. How much LASIK costs will depend on the strength of your prescription and if you have a custom procedure?

Let’s take an even average of $2,500 per eye. That puts the cost of LASIK surgery for both eyes at $5,000.

Now, how does this one-time expense measure up with the yearly expenses of glasses and contacts?

Financial Value of LASIK

Let’s look at a couple of different scenarios. Some people wear contacts regularly, some wear contacts occasionally, and some people only wear glasses. So let’s look at those three scenarios:

  • Just Glasses: Let’s say you don’t have any contacts. You probably have your glasses replaced yearly. That puts your yearly expense at a simple $200 per year. In 25 years, you’d spend $5,000– exactly our average price for LASIK.
  • Just Contacts: Even if you wear contacts daily, chances are you have a pair of glasses to use after taking your contacts out for the day. But you probably don’t replace those glasses very often. So let’s say you buy a pair every five years. This puts your yearly expense at $300 + $200(⅕) = $340. So over the course of fifteen years, you’d pay $5,100. That’s $100 more than our average LASIK price.
  • Contacts and Glasses: If you wear glasses more regularly, you probably buy them more often. Let’s say you get a new pair every two years. You also may pay a bit less for contacts since you aren’t using them as much. Let’s say you only spend $250 a year. That puts your yearly expenses at $200(½) + $250 = $350. So over fifteen years, you’d pay $5,250– $250 more than our average LASIK price.

Is LASIK Worth the Cost?

With our generous estimates, we can see that after 25 years at the most, LASIK pays for itself. If you use contacts, LASIK pays for itself after a mere 15 years.

That means every year after 15 years that you have LASIK, if your vision remains excellent, you’ll continue saving from the long-term investment you made with LASIK. It’s up to you to decide if LASIK is worth the long-term savings. But looking at pure mathematics, the investment is very likely to end up paying off.

Want to find out if you’re a good candidate for LASIK? Schedule a LASIK consultation at New England Eye Center in Boston, MA today! Isn’t it time to say goodbye to glasses and contacts and welcome new visual freedom into your life?

Cataract Self-Test
LASIK Self-Test