LASIK surgeries up as patients ditch their glasses fogged up by masks

Dave Duquette talking about LASIK with Dr. Hunter Newsom.
Posted at 2:06 PM, Aug 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 18:52:53-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Getting laser vision correction isn't for everyone. If you have the money and aren't squeamish about a laser re-shaping your eye, this will solve your mask causing your glasses to fog up issues.

Dr. Hunter Newsom, the founder of Newsom Eye, said a lot of people are coming in specifically to get rid of their glasses and stop having to walk around with fogged lenses.

"We've definitely been busier, so we've seen an uptick, and I think we've had some of busiest months have been the last couple of months some busy days with patients just not happy with the fogging up," Dr. Newsom said.

Dr. Newsom said many patients considered LASIK before but didn't have the time on their hands to come in for a consultation or just dealt with wearing glasses and contacts. With COVID-19 and mandatory mask mandates, not going away anytime soon, Dr. Newsom expects more people to consider surgery.

"I was thinking about getting it anyway, but this is just the catalyst," Dave Duquette said.

ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska met Duquette on his first consultation with Dr. Newsom. Within seconds of putting on his glasses, both lenses turned a cloudy white. Duquette says his kids are in gymnastics and masks are mandatory during their practice, but his prescription glasses keep fogging up.

"Just one breath, and I mean granted maybe I gotta work on the seal," Dave Duquette said. "Now, I can't see you. They were fogging up so much. I was walking with the kids, and it gets frustrating right, and so it happens when you get out of your car, but now it's happening just all the time."

During lockdown orders, Dr. Newsom said their business dropped 90% with tragic consequences.

"The real emotional downside of COVID is we didn't see patients on a regular basis for 60 days patients lose permanent vision and go blind without care to their eyes, and we have patients in our own practice that were difficult to get in hard to be able to see them we were here the whole time to be able to see them, but they were afraid to come in."

Now that more and more people are getting eye exams, Dr. Newsom said he is finding disorders that patients didn't know they had.

"A patient, I literally just walked out of their room. We are going to do men's replacement surgery on them, a little older patient looking for a better vision frustrated with the glasses and has early signs of glaucoma."

Thankfully, Duquette found no issues with his eyes. Just blurry vision, he hopes to get corrected soon. For Duquette, contacts are not something he likes wearing, so for him, they aren't an option.