Lasik eye surgery on the rise during coronavirus pandemic

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — It is an annoying, daily occurrence for many: foggy glasses or dried up contact lenses as a result of the many months of wearing face masks.

But now, a clear solution to the problem.

“We all know the importance of the mask, but the problem is the back of the mask isn’t sealed properly and the breath literally goes right up into the lenses,” said Jim Principi, the director of operations and optician at the Lasik Vision Centers of Cleveland.

Principi said the coronavirus pandemic increased the demand for surgery with his practice seeing a more than 100% rise in laser procedures this month, compared to this time last year.

“Some people have thin corneas, or irregular corneas, scarring, they may have a systemic problem, so there are non-candidates. Around 7 to 10% are typically non-candidates,” Principi said.

Elective eye surgery, generally, costs around $4,500 and is usually not covered by insurance.

“People are not going on vacation, so they might have a little money set aside that they were going to use for other things, stimulus money, that type of thing. We’re hearing patients say that they’re using for those things, in place of what they were intended for,” Principi said.

But Lasik isn’t the only cosmetic service seeing a spike.

From Botox to derma fillers to chemical peels, Danielle Gery, owner and CEO of Trouve Medspa in Beachwood, Ohio said the demand is, thanks in part, to the so-called, “Zoom Effect.”

“There’s more and more of us just having to be on the computers and having to see our colleagues and ourselves all the time, you just can’t help but think about this in the forefront of your mind,” she said.

Doctors said more patients working from home can receive procedures that allow them to “hide at home” for a few days during recovery.

However, for Lasik patients, the recovery is almost immediate.

“Most people are seeing 20/20 in one day,” Principi said.

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