Dr. Robi Ludwig
Life during the pandemic has left us all in a fog, literally. Adhering to COVID safety guidelines means we are all wearing our masks to protect ourselves and to protect others, and if you wear glasses too – you are well aware of mask fog. That unavoidable steam room effect covers your lenses making it difficult to see. What can you do? You can start with making sure your mask fits properly over your nose – a mask with a nose bridge will help keep warm air from exiting up. You can also try to use your glasses to seal the mask at the top of your nose. There are also wipes and sprays made to tackle foggy glasses – before you try them make sure they won’t damage any protective coatings on your lens. But having to deal with the fog day-after-day can be tiresome and annoying which is why so many people are turning to Lasik Eye Surgery.
This isn’t your momma’s Lasik Surgery either, the procedure has evolved and now it only takes seven minutes of surgery to correct the vision in BOTH eyes. Dr. Jeffery Dello Russo of Dello Russo Laser Vision which has offices in Bergenfield, New Jersey, Brooklyn and in New York City, says, “Since the onset of the pandemic – Lasik eye surgeons are seeing a massive uptick. Mask wearing with glasses (which create the fog effect) coupled with an onslaught of Zoom meetings/too many hours of screen time which can dry out contact lenses is the cause of the Lasik eye surgery surge. The American Refractive Surgery Council, which tracks vision-correcting surgery says the number is greater now than when the procedure first became available.”
The Dello Russo Lasik Surgery footprint goes two decades back. Dr. Jeff’s father was the first in the county to ever use it! In 1990, Dr. Joseph Dello Russo bought a research laser from a new laser company, VISX. The purpose of the laser was to change the shape of the front layer of the eye to eliminate the need for glasses. That same year the FDA selected him as one of the investigators to test out the laser on his patients. The research would help the FDA decide whether it should approve that laser company for treating the general public in the future. In 1996 the FDA did approve the laser company and thus the age of Lasik began. Over the next 25 years, Dr. Dello Russo was one of the pioneering doctors in the evolution of this new Lasik surgery.
With so many people working from home, this is the perfect time to have this procedure done since a patient can have improved vision just hours after surgery and likely return to a regular work routine the next day.
The younger Dr. Dello Russo explains, “If the shape of the eye is not perfect then a person’s sight will be out of focus. The purpose of the laser is to reshape the cornea to a more perfect shape. The first procedure was known as PRK, since it reshaped the surface directly, but took a few days to heal properly. Lasik developed so as not to treat the surface. In fact, the surface layer is first lifted out of the way and the reshaping of the cornea is done under this layer. This way as soon as the layer is repositioned the surface of the eye is smooth and sight occurs immediately and no pain is experienced.”
Lasik Eye Surgery allows patients to enjoy waking up in the morning without having to reach for their glasses, it allows them to enjoy work and leisure activities without the cumbersome problem of glasses. No more forgetting where you last put your glasses and of course no more eyeglass fog! “People are also hesitant to continue using contact lenses because they don’t want to put their fingers in their eye for fear of contamination. And, many people are also finding it difficult to get appointments to get their contact lens prescription refilled,” Dr. Dello Russo says.
Another reason people are opting for Lasik is that they are spending hours on Zoom for work and to connect with friends and family. “People are finding glass glare to be annoying and also physically unflattering when they are on Zoom,” Dr. Dello Russo adds, “Finding the right angle or lighting while on Zoom that eliminates the glare can be frustrating. With Lasik, you no longer have that issue.
“Most people do have both eyes operated the same day. There is usually no preparation needed, which is why some people will elect to have surgery the same day as the consultation. We do advise most people who wear contact lenses to leave them out for a few days before their visit in case they decide to have Lasik after the exam,” he said adding, “Since the eye is numbed by the use of simple numbing drops, people feel no discomfort during the surgery. Sometimes a short-acting sedative is offered. The procedure is quick, usually about ten minutes,” he shares.
“Most people have surgery to improve their distance vision. A small percentage of patients’ eyes may experience a slight natural change in the shape of the cornea, for which they may choose to have a retreatment. Of course, as we get older, we may all benefit from reading glasses” according to Dr. Dello Russo.
“Not everyone is eligible for Lasik, which is why a thorough evaluation by an experienced surgeon must be performed to determine who is qualified for surgery and plan how to best perform that treatment for that individual,” Dr. Dello Russo says.
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