Are you finding yourself more dependent on reading glasses as you get older? Monovision may be right for you.
As we grow older, our risk of developing presbyopia increases. Presbyopia is a condition that makes it progressively harder to focus on nearby objects. Presbyopia can make it hard to read a book, for example, or dial a cell phone.
Typically beginning in your 40s, presbyopia is the result of age-related changes that affect proteins inside the crystalline lens within your eyes. The lens is flexible, so it can change its shape to bend light rays to give you sharp vision. The composition of the proteins made the lens soft and flexible in young people, but changes in the protein composition makes the lens harder and less flexible. When the lens loses its flexibility, it loses its ability to change shape and bend light rays – this diminishes the eye’s ability to focus on near objects.
People who wear glasses and develop presbyopia may need bifocals or trifocals; those who have never worn glasses may need reading glasses for close-up work. While reading glasses and bifocals can improve presbyopia, wearing glasses is not always convenient or comfortable. Monovision is a correction that can help you be less dependent on reading glasses.
Monovision is a LASIK procedure that provides slightly different corrections to each eye to allow close-up vision without readers. Your eye doctor will likely correct your dominant eye, which is usually on the same side of your body as your dominant hand, for clear distance vision.
Your LASIK surgeon will then correct your non-dominant eye to create sharper up-close vision. Your eyes will still work together to provide clearer vision overall at any distance. In time, you may not be able to tell which eye was set for distance and which was set for near when you have both eyes open.
Presbyopia forces patients over the age of 40 to make a choice when it comes to LASIK – correct both eyes for distance or correct one eye for distance and the other for near. If you are unsure of which would be better, your eye doctor can provide you with contact lenses that simulate what your vision will be like after monovision with LASIK. If you are over 40, or wear bifocals or reading glasses, consult with your LASIK surgeon to find out if monovision is right for you.