Medically Reviewed By Dr. Anthony Nappi / September 20, 2022 / 3 min. read
Advances in technology and treatment outcomes have changed laser eye surgery over the years, including the cost. While fees vary widely, what you pay out of pocket is still an important factor in choosing the right procedure.
Laser Eye Surgery Costs Overtime
For many, the cost of laser eye surgery seems prohibitive, but the expense today is cheaper than it was in the past. In 2008, laser eye surgery was $4,000, equivalent to $5,300 in today’s currency.
Today, the average price of laser vision correction is $4,400 total, or $2,200 per eye, which is about 20% lower in price. Plus, when you compare laser vision correction against eyeglasses and contacts, laser vision correction comes out on top with greater cost savings.
Wear glasses or contacts? See how affordable LASIK is for you with our Lasik Affordability Calculator
Based on reports, the average annual cost for eyeglasses and contacts combined is $542.80. Over a lifetime of roughly 60 years, you’ll pay at least $14,576.10 – and that only includes your initial visit and your supplies.
In comparison, if you break down the total average laser treatment fees over the same period, your annual cost is $73.33. Some reports calculate it as low as $19.10 per year, but both are a considerable difference.
Laser Eye Surgery Costs
Other factors can affect the price of laser eye surgery, including your surgeon, clinic fees, and location. Cities with a higher cost of living are more likely to have higher surgery fees. For example, you’ll likely pay more in New York City than in Phoenix, Arizona.
While costs for laser eye surgery can vary depending on your individual needs, the type of procedure can affect your cost, too.
Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a surface laser eye treatment. The surgeon fully removes the layer of skin over your cornea and then reshapes your cornea with a laser. They place a temporary lens over the cornea until the new covering grows back, which usually takes about five days. You can expect to pay about $2,200 per eye for PRK.
LASIK stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses. Here, your surgeon opens up a flap on the surface of your cornea with one laser and then uses a second laser to reshape your cornea. They place the flap back over your cornea, which acts like a natural bandage. While LASIK can range from $1,000 to $4,000, it usually falls closer to the average of $2,200 per eye.
Peripheral corneal relaxing incision (PCRI) is a treatment for astigmatism. Your surgeon makes one or two bow-shaped cuts on the side of your cornea and reshapes it. Some clinics charge $1,500 per eye for PCRI.
How to Finance Laser Eye Surgery
Most insurance providers don’t cover laser eye surgery because it’s classified as elective surgery. However, certain vision plans may cover some costs. Laser eye surgery is also a qualifying health savings account expense. You can use funds you’ve carried over from other years or add up to $3,650 in tax-exempt funds in 2022.
Some eye surgery clinics also offer discounts and financing plans. While the interest adds a small extra fee to your overall cost, most clinics offer competitive interest rates. Overall, laser eye surgery can lead to greater cost savings in the long run. The first step is to have an evaluation and ensure you qualify for the procedure. Schedule a consultation today.