Corrective eye surgery is enhanced by wearing a mask

Illustration of the refractive surgery process. – Pixabay

  • Wearing a mask all the time hides smiles and causes clouding of glasses for many people.
  • So much so that some have inquired or taken the plunge to have surgery on their eyes.
  • Many eye surgeons note that some actually have more time and resources to spend at the pool table and correcting myopia, astigmatism, and other vision problems with a laser syringe.

A very mysterious world. since the beginning COVID-19 and wear
mask The life of spectacle wearers, both inside and out, is clouded. And if some switch to lenses, others can’t stand them. So much so that a large number of the French have taken refuge in it
corrective surgery.

Steam, “Decision Accelerator”

“It is clear that the demand has really increased,” confirms Romain Nicolaou, an eye surgeon in Paris. Patients ask us a lot of questions, even if they do not want to have the operation right away. And for those who were in doubt, having the power all along was a decision accelerator. According to figures from the Société de lFrench Society of Transplantation and Refractive Surgery (SAFE), There could have been a 20% to 30% increase in national demand for surgeries during the health crisis.

“Before Covid-19, I had six interventions a week. Today, between 12 and 20”, confirms Romain Nicolau. The same note by Jeremy Barbier, Member of the French Society of Ophthalmology (SFO), which is practiced in Lyon. “Obviously, mask-wearing has gradually increased this demand. Between 20 and 25% more, depending on the exchanges I had with my colleagues.” “Since Covid-19, we advise avoiding touching your face. Some have felt it is easier and healthier to perform the procedure than to keep With lenses,” adds Jeremy Barbier. It is true that when you lose a lens in the metro, messing with your eyes after touching the bar in the middle of the car is completely not recommended …

More time and money

In addition to fogging and cleaning, there are time and money factors. refractive surgery Not covered by Social Security. Therefore, he is not compensated and does not give the right to sick leave. However, between unemployment, fewer trips and telecommuting, some French were less hesitant to take a few days off or take advantage of this time to recover from an operation. “And some had more money, and the savings weren’t that high before,” continues the ophthalmologist from Lyon.

Eye surgery also benefited. Because with the mask on, we only see the top of the face. Jeremy Barbier adds: “As video meetings spread, many saw themselves on the screen and noticed their eyelids drooping. There were many requests for plastic surgery in older patients, in parallel with the request for refractive surgery.”

One operation for many problems

But how does this corrective process work? The goal is simple: dispense with glasses…or contact lenses. “We have a ‘capital’ lens. In other words, depending on how you wear it, it’s not uncommon for people to feel embarrassed after a while,” warns Jeremy Barbier. A risk that affects people unevenly, without also being a necessary step. But when you suffer from dry eyes, neutralizing contact lenses and the hot air rising from the mask can clearly encourage surgery.

Going to the pool table is an option for many vision problems: nearsightedness (a defect in far vision), hyperopia (near vision), astigmatism (a defect in far and near vision) and presbyopia (difficulty with near vision). Refractive surgery may also be considered when the problems are cumulative (myopia and astigmatism for example), which is often the case.

The operation is performed under local anesthesia, using eye drops, on an outpatient basis and takes only a few minutes. “The laser is delivered 90% of the time,” explains Roman Nicolau. When you are nearsighted, you either have a very large eye, so thanks to the operation, it will thin the cornea. Either the cornea is too arched, and the laser allows a normal arch to be created. Jeremy Barbier adds: “We will artificially alter the refraction. It is as if you are incorporating a lens without adding anything.”


But before assigning the surgeon to the apple of your eye, some tests are required. In order to check, in particular, that you do not have an eye disease and that the cornea is thick enough. Other contraindications: “Severe dryness that leads to irritation of the cornea – Keratitis – Which will make you a veil before your eyes. The fact of the work can aggravate this veil”, continues Roman Nicolau.

But he reassures: “We can’t end up blind with this operation! The side effect of the procedure is dry eyes, and in most cases it lasts for a month. Patients sometimes see small halos, especially at night. Over time, it fades. The brain gets used to it, as It is the case with tinnitus.”

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