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Raze Your Glasses

Posted Nov 12 2007 12:00am

Forget contacts — student Tim Ciurzynski takes the next step toward perfect vision
By Jackie Saunders

Tim Ciurzynski’s new glasses came in a pink cardboard box nestled in white tissue paper—and their only practical use involves drinking champagne. After his IntraLASIK vision correction surgery at Fichte-Endl Eye Associates in Amherst, NY, he received complimentary crystal champagne glasses to remind him that those are the only type of glasses he needs now.

Ciurzynski, a student at the State University of New York college of Environmental Science and Forestry, is one of the many college students subjecting their corneas to permanent reshaping by laser treatment. Autumn Gates, the refractive surgery coordinator at CNY Eye Care in Dewitt, says she has noticed more young people getting laser eye surgery in the last few years. Many times people get the surgery as part of a graduation gift. Gates says patients enjoy the benefits of clear vision longer if they get the procedure in their late teens or early 20’s. The procedure usually costs between $2,000 and $3,000 per eye.

Numbing eye drops made the 12-minute surgery painless for Ciurzynski – the only people who felt squeamish were his parents who watched the surgery on a monitor. Four days after leaving Fichte-Endl with 20/20 vision, Tim sits on the bench watching his fellow teammates on the Stumpies intramural hockey team at Tennity Ice Rink. He must sit out for two weeks because contact sports aggravate the healing process. Tiny icicles form on his eyelashes but he is forbidden from touching his eyes for another week. Various prescription eye drops fill Tim’s ski jacket pockets. Upkeep requires seven to 11 applications of eye drops during the day.

He must also wear Harley Davidson-like goggles at night for several weeks. Broken blood vessels due to an accident with a suction cup during the surgery make his left-eye red, but Ciurzynski doesn’t mind.

To those unsure about Lasik he says: “Just get it done, go right now.”

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