Most of our clients think of LASIK as a priceless investment in their quality of life—starting that first morning when they open their eyes and yell “I can see!” Before the surgery is a different story, though. Everyone asks: How much does LASIK cost? Practically everyone asks: How does the cost of LASIK compare to wearing glasses or contacts? And few people ask: Can I get money back on my taxes for LASIK? Here are our answers.
How much does LASIK cost?
Corvue Ophthalmology and Laser Eye Centre doesn’t offer assembly line LASIK procedures, and our price is all-inclusive—no pitches, packages or unfulfilled promises. Your assessment, surgery and follow-up care is provided by the region’s leading corneal surgeon, and we use wavefront-guided blade-free iLASIK technology. That’s the technology that’s trusted by NASA and the U.S. military for astronauts and fighter pilots. So our price, at first glance, may look higher than the other guys. Ask some questions though, and you’ll find out to get comparable care (if it’s even possible), you’ll be paying the same amount—or more—at another LASIK clinic.
How does the cost of LASIK compare to wearing glasses or contacts?
It’s hard to do a one-size-fits-all calculation to answer this question. Your age, where you buy your glasses or contacts, and how often you replace them all affect the response.
To do your own customized calculation, fill in the blanks below:
Amount of money you spend on glasses and prescription sunglasses each year.
To figure this out divide the cost of all the pairs of glasses you own by the number of years you wear them for.
Amount of money you spend on contact lenses each year.
Think about how much a box of lenses costs you, and multiply this by the number of boxes you go through each year.
Amount of money you spend on contact solution each year.
How much does one bottle cost? How long does it last you? Multiply the cost of one bottle by the number you use in one year.
# of years until you turn 70.
We chose 70 because that’s around the time when many people stop wearing contact lenses and may have vision changes due to cataracts which will change whether they continue to wear glasses.
Your lifetime cost for glasses and contacts
Here are three example scenarios:
Ana goes to a 3 for 1 optical store every two years and spends $500, which averages out to $250 a year.
She likes to wear contact lenses some of the time, buying them online. Her yearly cost is around $300
She goes through a bottle of contact solution every 3 months. Each bottle costs around $10.
Ana is 27, so she’ll turn 70 in 43 years
Ana’s lifetime cost for glasses and contacts. Her costs could be higher if she continues to wear contact lenses and has to switch to more expensive multifocal lenses in her 40s so she can read and see distance.
Bill buys a pair of glasses every five years and spends $500, which averages out to $100 a year.
He doesn’t wear contact lenses.
No contacts equals no solution.
Bill is 32, so he’ll turn 70 in 38 years
Bill’s lifetime cost for glasses
Brianna buys a new pair of polycarbonate progressive lenses every three years from her optometrist, at a cost of $700. $700 divided by 3 is $233.
She wears multifocal daily soft contact lenses, which she also buys from her optometrist, for $1200 a year.
Because her contacts are dailies, she doesn’t spend anything on solution.
Brianna is 48, so she’ll turn 70 in 22 years
Brianna's lifetime cost for glasses and contacts, assuming she continues to wear daily contacts until she’s 70.
Can I get money back on my taxes for LASIK?
Yes, Canadians can deduct laser eye surgery as an eligible medical expense on their taxes. Whether that results in a tax refund depends on whether you have other eligible medical expenses and your income. You’ll receive more of a tax credit if your expenses are higher and your income is lower. You don’t have to submit your LASIK receipt with your taxes, but you do have to keep it in case Canada Revenue Agency asks to see it in the future.
Add up all the quality of life benefits of LASIK, then compare them to your lifetime cost for glasses and contact lenses. Chances are you’ll be surprised at the long-term savings!
Of course, long-term savings don’t put money in your pocket today. If you can’t afford to pay for your surgery all at once, we do offer financing through Medicard. And if you do decide to go ahead with the procedure, don’t forget to claim it on your taxes!