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Jacksonville eye surgery center sees increase in LASIK, eye issues during pandemic

Doctors at the Florida Eye Specialists say they’ve had a 60% increase in LASIK evaluations since May.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Doctors at Florida Eye Specialists say they’ve had a 60% increase in LASIK evaluations and about a 35% percent increase in people getting the surgery since May.

Multiple factors are at play, but they all go back to COVID-19. 

Samantha Kinas says several vision issues led her to finally get LASIK surgery. She had the procedure done in October.

“So living in Florida, you walk outside and your glasses fog up, that was already a problem," Kinas said. "Then with the mask, you’re foggy inside all the time and you can see it fog up. You’re like oh my gosh! It shouldn’t be this hard to see.”

Dr. Amit Chokshi, an ophthalmologist with Florida Eye Specialists, says glasses-wearers are tired of their glasses constantly being fogged up when they wear their mask. On top of that, Chokshi says masks can cause dry eyes because your breath goes up to your eyes instead of straight out. As more people work remotely, Chokshi says technology has become a bigger issue. 

“With computer time and screen time there is definitely a higher incident of dry eyes and if someone is used to using contacts, they may become less contact lenses tolerant," he explains. 

He says Kinas isn’t the only one going under the laser during COVID-19. Chokshi has been performing LASIK surgeries every week.

Not everyone needs surgery to fix some of your dry eye issues. Dr. Chokshi suggests taking breaks from staring at your computer throughout the day, try blue light glasses, and use eye drops!

But what makes people want to drop thousands of dollars during a pandemic when many are struggling financially? Chokshi says people aren’t traveling as much, they have those extra funds and extra time. 

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