LASIK May Be a Healthier and More Convenient Alternative to Contact Lenses

Extended-wear contact lenses wearers may be more prone to develop corneal ulcers. Dr. Ilan Cohen discusses the alternatives, including LASIK eye surgery.

"With an explosion of advertising about extended-wear contact lenses, corneal specialists are unfortunately seeing more people come into their offices with serious complications from contact lenses," Dr. Ilan Cohen said.

A recent study published by Reuters reveals that contact lens wearers are nine times more likely to develop corneal ulcers than people who wear eyeglasses or opt for laser vision correction surgery. Corneal ulcers can sometimes lead to vision loss. People who wear contact lenses for weeks and months at a time risk blocking the flow of oxygen to their eyes and can develop problems that require a corneal transplant.

Dr. Ilan Cohen, director of 5th Avenue Eye Center, serves patients throughout New Jersey and New York with his state-of-the-art LASIK and cataract surgical techniques. He hopes to educate people throughout the world about the different types of vision correction surgery.

"I don't want to seem like I am saying LASIK is a risk-free proposition and that everyone with vision problems should throw out their contact lenses and get laser vision correction," Dr. Cohen said. "However, the incidences of serious problems among contact lens wearers appears much higher than the incidence of complications among people who had LASIK."

One problem regarding contacts is that, due to financial considerations, some people ignore the expiration dates and still place the lenses in their eyes. While getting contact lenses is an ongoing expense, LASIK is usually a one-time expense that can end up saving patients money in the years to come.

"Whether you wear contact lenses, glasses, or pursue LASIK, never settle for the cheapest price," Dr. Cohen said. "You process about 80 percent of information through your eyes and deserve only the best and most advanced technology no matter how you wish to correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness."

5th Avenue Eye Center is a comprehensive vision center with locations in Old Bridge, New Jersey as well as the Manhattan and Queens boroughs of New York City. Dr. Cohen, a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, was fellowship trained in corneal and cataract surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. His innovative techniques and ability to correct other surgeons' mistakes has earned him international media attention on CBS, CNBC, and FOX News.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen, call 5th Avenue Eye Center at (212) 764-2020 or visit