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Laser Surgery Safer Than Contact Lenses?

ame worldwide.

Vision loss from laser surgery is easier to calculate. Mathers looked at a large study of military personnel who had laser surgery and found results similar to those of the OHSU Casey Vision Correction Center.

A study of more than 32,000 U.S. Armed Forces members receiving laser surgery published in the journal Ophthalmology found a loss of vision of one line on an eye chart was 1 in 1,250. A loss of two or more lines of vision, which would be more significant, but less frequent, was not reported. Data from the OHSU Casey Vision Correction Center showed no cases of vision loss greater than two lines in 18,000 procedures performed over 10 years.

"Even with perfect care of your contacts, the risks for infection and vision loss are still there," said Mathers. "Our long-term results at OHSU confirm the experience of the U.S. military: Laser surgery is as safe, and probably safer, than long-term use of contact lenses."

The calculated risks of vision loss from contact lenses and laser surgery are approximate and subject to change. Highly oxygen-permeable contact lenses and advances in laser surgery should make both even safer. There are approximately 20 million to 25 million contact lens wearers in the United States, and approximately 1 million people in the United States have laser surgery every year.

"Data from these studies strongly suggest our intuition regarding these risks needs to be reassessed," Mathers said. "I, for one, look forward to further investigations of these risks."

Source-Eurekalert
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