Instagram, that arbiter of taste and style, is showing more younger folks with glasses—even those with quirky, clunky frames. The trend that you can’t see as easily, is that young people are choosing LASIK over glasses at an astonishing rate.
At SharpeVision we’ve seen the average age of our LASIK patients go from 41 down to 34. The percentage of 18-29 year-olds having LASIK has gone from 13% to 40% over the past 20 years. Millennials are discovering what’s long been known: LASIK is a very smart choice for many reasons and has a 25-year track record to prove it.
Why Are Young People Getting LASIK More Than Ever?
They are more active than their parents: Millennials are often depicted (by old folks!) as being raised in front of various screens and being perpetually attached to them. Statistics show a different reality. Seven out of ten Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are leading a highly active lifestyle. At SharpeVision, we’ve certainly observed that to be true-we’ve had dancers, adventure photographers, professional volleyball, soccer, football and baseball players, military pilots, and every type of active lifestyle you can imagine. Imagine their lives after LASIK when they’re not tethered to glasses! LASIK is the solution to a problem that’s been around as long as humans have.
Independence. Autonomy is valued more highly now than at any other time in history. Young people don’t want to have to put on glasses or contacts. The hassle of cleaning them, maintaining them, and replacing them is a pain-as well as interfering with a spontaneous life. When I was in my 20s, I kept my contacts in for nearly two months while I traveled around Europe. That’s understandable but dangerous and uncomfortable. You don’t need to take that risk now.
Young people trust elective procedures. Millennials’ parents had LASIK 20 years ago, and recommend it to their children. What used to be “guinea pigs” is now the standard. The question of “what are the long term effects” has now been answered by tens of millions of satisfied patients over the decades. Millennials understand the miracles of medical technology, and there is no stigma to using them in the pursuit of self-improvement. Dozens of types of cosmetic procedures, from dental veneers, teeth whitening to fillers, lip injections, and Botox®, are now seen as being both acceptable and beneficial. This attitude is strengthened by not only the athletes and famous (thank you Kardashians/Jenners!) who have openly admitted to having cosmetic or corrective procedures performed but also the friends and family members who share their positive experiences on social media.
Millennials understand cost-benefit analysis: LASIK treatment isn’t cheap—but the cost of prescription sunglasses, contacts, solutions, and designer frames quickly add up to become more expensive over just a few years. This is without factoring in how awesome it is to just get up and go. No worries about a contact or glasses issue disrupting plans. Many young people realize this and come to the conclusion that LASIK results in a better lifestyle and a better value. Millennials also are comfortable with financing things you want now, and especially like interest-free financing which makes LASIK an all-around winner.
Eyewear trends change, but clear uncorrected vision never goes out of style. If you want to join the millions who are enjoying a life free from glasses and contacts, the first step is to get a free consultation to see if you are a candidate. Doing it when you’re young is better, but any age is a good one to experience a clear uncorrected vision.
– Dr. Matthew Sharpe, MD