Vision Decisions: 6 Surprising Ways COVID-19 Has Changed Attitudes on Eye Care

The coronavirus has forced most of us to look at the world in new ways – literally. Things we didn’t have to think about at the start of 2020 are now part of our daily lives, for good or bad.

In the eye care field, many of our patients are shifting their perspectives on the need to nurture healthy eyes and good vision. COVID-19, and the measures we must now take to protect ourselves, have given contact lens and eyeglass wearers several new motivations to seek permanent vision correction procedures:

 1.   We’re more aware of the role of mucous membranes in the spread of infection. Viruses can enter the body through mucous membranes such as the eyes, nose and mouth. For people who wear contact lenses, this is especially concerning because their hands come in direct contact with mucous membranes while putting in and removing lenses.

2.   Mask fog on eyeglasses is a maddening part of daily life. Improperly fitted masks cause exhaled breath to seep over the top edge of the mask and toward the eyes. When warm breath meets the cool glass surface, fog is the inevitable result. We visit with many patients who want out of glasses for that reason alone!

 3.   Dry eye disease is on the rise. If there is enough air escaping a mask to fog up glasses, there’s most likely air blowing directly into your eyes. Longer hours in front of a computer screen are adding to the problem as people forget to blink as often as they need to. This can lead to dry eye disease, which causes itching and redness, blurry vision, a gritty feeling or even the sensation that there is debris stuck in your eye. Severe dry eye can make it difficult for an individual to carry on with daily tasks like reading or driving. 

4.   COVID-19 has had an impact or necessary deliveries. As people spend more time working or learning remotely and less time in retail environments, they’re relying on home delivery more than ever before. So much so that online retailers, postal carriers and private shipping companies are often struggling to keep up with the sudden sharp increase in demand. That can mean delays in deliveries, such as monthly contact lens orders.

 5.   We desire to be less vulnerable in general. There’s nothing like widespread disease to make us aware of our own frailties. The pandemic has inspired many to take their health more seriously so they can be better equipped to weather the current and future health crises. Some patients have sought LASIK and other vision correction procedures to reduce or eliminate their reliance on glasses and contact.

6.   Eye care patients are looking to trim long-term expenses. With less reliance on assistive devices like glasses and contacts comes less expense in the long run. The national average for LASIK eye surgery is about $2,200 per eye. That may sound significant until you realize that a lifetime (from age 29 to 79) of prescription glasses can cost up to $15,000. Monthly contacts are even more expensive; we conservatively estimate a lifetime expenditure of $19,700, not including inflation and taxes. Laser vision correction starts looking better and better when you consider it that way.

If COVID-19 has inspired you to seek a more permanent solution to vision correction, Lake Lazer Eye Center can help you determine if you’re a candidate for a Modern LASIK or ZEISS SMILE procedure. Call us at (586) 792-3891 or use our online contact form to request an eye exam now.