Thousands of people across West Michigan wear contact lenses. You might see them at the gym, popping in lenses just for sports because they get uncomfortable wearing them all day. You might see them in the office, stashing extra solution and lenses in their desk in case they lose one or need to adjust them.

Just because they are common, though, doesn't mean they are cost-effective or safer than other eye correction options, especially LASIK — which can offer immediate vision improvement after a quick procedure.

To get all the facts, we turned to the experts at Keil Lasik Vision Center, 2500 E. Beltline Ave. SE, Grand Rapids:

1) Contacts do come with a risk of infection. People who wear contacts daily for 30 years have a risk of 1 in 100 for developing a bacterial keratitis eye infection and 1 in 1,000 for developing an Acanthamoeba keratitis eye infection, according to a doctor's study.  Both infections present a risk of some vision loss.

2) Contact wearers are at a greater risk for developing dry eye. Staring at electronic devices for hours a day leaves people vulnerable to dry eyes, but it's compounded for long-term contact wearers, as contacts can damage the eye lids' Meibomian glands, which produce oil and help maintain a healthy tear film, as this optometrist explained.

3) The cost of contacts and glasses add up over time. Many patients perceive LASIK as an expensive procedure. While the procedure is personalized to each patient's eyes, Keil Lasik Vision Center has a handy online tool to calculate how the long-term costs of other vision correction compare to Lasik. Over 10 or 15 years, the cost of contacts and supplies far exceeds the cost of Lasik vision correction.

Curious about whether Lasik is a good option for you? Schedule a free consultation with Keil Lasik Vision Center to learn if you are a candidate. According to Keil Lasik, about 80-85 percent of patients are excellent candidates. Their website is full of answers to frequent questions, and they offer 12 and 24 month 0-percent interest financing. Call or text them today at 616-365-5775 and tell them we sent you!

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