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Presbyopia / Monovision


As people get older, the lens inside their eye changes and is no longer able to focus on images up close. This condition is called presbyopia or "reading glasses syndrome." People with this condition may experience eye fatigue when reading in poor light or at the end of the day, have trouble changing their focus from distance to near, or need to constantly reposition reading material in an attempt to find the right focus. This loss of elasticity in the lens becomes apparent when near vision starts to get blurry somewhere between the ages of 40 to 50. This happens to everyone, regardless of whether they have ever worn glasses before. The symptoms of presbyopia are sometimes confused with those of farsightedness, but they are not the same and the treatment for each is different.

Traditionally, presbyopia has been corrected by wearing reading glasses. Some people have avoided reading glasses for many years, however, by having their vision corrected with LASIK, PRK, or LASEK and a technique called monovision. Additionally, presbyopic vision can also be corrected with non-laser vision procedures like CK and IOL Surgery that help reduce dependence on glasses or contacts.

Which of these is true for you? You might benefit from monovision with LASIK/PRK/LASEK You might benefit from CK You might benefit from IOL Surgery
I only need reading glasses 65& Under All Ages  
I had LASIK before and now need reading glasses 65& Under All Ages  
I use bifocals or progressive lenses 50 & Under   Over 50
My prescription is outside the LASIK parameters     Over 50
I am noticing impaired night vision, depth perception and/or color distortion     All Ages

Monovision / Blended Vision

Monovision is an option for people with presbyopia where each eye is adjusted to have a slightly different focus point. One eye will see things close up, the other eye will see things farther away, and the brain will integrate the visual information from both and filter out any blur. With monovision, you do not need to make any conscious adjustments in how to see, and the brain usually adjusts within 6-8 weeks to each eye focusing at a different distance.

Monovision refractive surgery is not a cure for presbyopia. It simply "re-sets" the clock for near vision, giving you an additional 5 to 10 years without the need for reading glasses for most tasks. Even with monovision, however, there may be some situations (such as night driving in unfamiliar areas) where you might require glasses.

The decision to have monovision refractive surgery is dependent on your age, profession, hobbies and desires. People who need to see very well at distance (e.g., pilots or nighttime truck drivers) may not be the best candidates for monovision. It's also not recommended for people under 40 who are not yet feeling the affects of presybopia because the benefits will not be realized for many years. It is possible that surgeries that directly cure presbyopia will become available in the future.

It is a good idea to simulate monovision on a trial basis to see if you are comfortable with your eyes focusing at different distances. We can help you do this by fitting you with contact lenses or trial eyeglass frames adjusted to reflect the different possible corrections. This will give you a good idea of whether monovision is right for you.

Monovision has been used successfully for over 20 years. Refractive surgery patients can achieve monovision either with LASIK, PRK, or LASEK. In addition, the CK procedure uses a technique called "blended vision," a type of monovision that many people have found easy to adjust to. Ask your doctor if blended vision might be right for you.