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The top 10 reasons why people have laser eye surgery

Prof Gerard Sutton


Young woman exercising at the beach

Laser eye surgery can be a life-changing procedure, especially when it gives people freedom to do things they previously couldn’t. I always ask my patients why they decided to have laser eye surgery.

These are the 10 most common answers:

  1. Sport

    Glasses and contact sports don’t mix, and people who stay active by going to the gym, running or doing yoga also find wearing glasses a burden. Contact lenses are often not suitable for active lifestyles either, due to becoming dislodged in the eye or causing irritation. Many people turn to laser eye surgery so that it’s easier for them to play sports and keep fit.

  2. Swimming

    Many of us depend on the beach to cool off over the hot summer months. But anyone that wears glasses knows just how troublesome it is to swim with blurred vision, and swimming with contact lenses poses a risk of eye infection. That’s why laser eye surgery is often an obvious choice for swimmers, surfers and beachgoers.

  3. Convenience

    Glasses and contact lenses require ongoing maintenance. For many, the prospect of not having to insert contacts every day is enough to opt for laser eye surgery. And for others, not having to keep glasses clean or continually defog/dry them in steamy or wet weather is the major drawcard.

  4. Contact lens issues

    It’s quite common for a person to become contact lens intolerant over time (experiencing pain, stinging and discomfort while wearing them), even if they didn’t have issues initially. If contact lenses become problematic, many people choose laser vision correction to stay spectacle independent.

  5. Cost

    In the long run, it can be more cost-effective to have laser eye surgery than pay for the ongoing expense of replacing and maintaining glasses and/or contact lenses. This is especially true for people who need visual aids from a younger age. Read more about laser eye surgery costs.

  6. Career

    Many people choose to have laser eye surgery in order to pursue a particular profession, as some jobs are difficult to perform while wearing glasses (e.g. chefs, professional sportspeople).

  7. New parents

    Waking in the middle of the night and fumbling to find glasses or insert contacts to tend to a child or needing to keep an eye on kids at the beach are some of the reasons that parents decide to have laser vision correction.

  8. Vision

    People who are unhappy with their vision using glasses or contacts may choose to have laser eye surgery, which can sometimes allow them to achieve even better eyesight. This is because laser eye surgery reshapes the surface of the eye to correct its curvature.

  9. Falling asleep

    Dozing off wearing contact lenses is bad for your eyes, and sleeping while wearing glasses is uncomfortable and could lead to them breaking. The convenience of not having to worry about glasses or contacts when falling asleep is another reason people choose to have laser eye surgery.

  10. Appearance

    Some people simply don’t like the way that glasses look and prefer to undergo a vision correction procedure.

If you’re looking for the freedom that good vision offers, book a consultation to see if you’re eligible for laser eye surgery.

Professor Gerard Sutton is an internationally recognised expert in corneal conditions, cataract surgery and laser eye surgery. In addition to his ophthalmic practice, Prof Sutton is a researcher and lecturer at the University of Sydney. He practises at Vision Eye Institute Chatswood, Vision Eye Institute Bondi Junction and Vision Eye Institute Hurstville.


  1. Choice. A guide to laser eye surgery. NSW, 11 August 2020. Available at https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/optical-and-hearing/optical/articles/guide-to-laser-eye-surgery [Accessed 6 January 2021].
  2. Wilkinson JM, Cozine EW, Kahn AR. Refractive Eye Surgery: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions About LASIK. Am Fam Physician 2017;95(10):637–44.
  3. Xu Y, Li S, Gao Z, Nicholas S. Reasons for Laser in Situ Keratomileusis in China: A Qualitative Study. Optom Vis Sci. 2019 Mar;96(3):206-212.
  4. McGhee CN, Orr D, Kidd B, Stark C, Bryce IG, Anastas CN. Psychological aspects of excimer laser surgery for myopia: reasons for seeking treatment and patient satisfaction. Br J Ophthalmol. 1996 Oct;80(10):874-9.

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The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

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