With age, you may develop the need for reading glasses in order to compensate for a condition called presbyopia. When this condition is treated with Custom All-Laser LASIK, you and your doctor may decide to leave one eye slightly nearsighted. This is called monovision and may allow you to maintain your ability to read after presbyopia begins. Your other eye will be fully treated for distance vision. Gaining this up-close vision means sacrificing some distance sharpness. (Many people have already elected monovision correction with their contacts or glasses.) Monovision corrects presbyopia by using one eye to see up close and one eye to see in the distance. This procedure can eliminate the need for reading glasses or bifocals.
Before performing monovision with Custom All-Laser LASIK, our Coastal Vision Medical Group surgeons have patients wear contact lenses to create the same effect during a trial period to ensure monovision is the best choice for them.
Although it may take several days, the vast majority of patients who try monovision adjust well to it. The brain learns to select the eye that gives it the sharpest image for near or far vision and automatically filters out the slightly unfocused image from the other eye. After monovision All-Laser LASIK, for example, you can see a road map clearly; the brain will use the nearsighted eye to read the map and will automatically suppress the information coming to it from the distance eye.
Monovision is a safe and effective procedure for people over 40 who are unhappy because they can no longer see up close and who don’t want to be constantly finding and putting on reading glasses.
In a person who is nearsighted and around the age of 40 – 45, correcting both eyes with All-Laser LASIK to see clearly for distance vision means they would probably become dependent on reading glasses to see up close unless they choose the monovision procedure.