What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a common age-related hardening of the crystalline lens within the eye that affects the ability to see objects and small print up close. It typically becomes noticeable around the age of 40 and continues to worsen as a person gets older as the lens loses more and more flexibility. Since presbyopia affects the lens inside the eye it can be experienced by people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
The hallmark symptom of presbyopia is difficulty focusing on close-up objects, especially small print. People may notice they are squinting to read a book, use the smartphone, read a menu in dim light, or do other tasks requiring near vision. Individuals with presbyopia may find themselves folding books, papers, and their phone at a distance.
How Does Laser Vision Surgery Correct Presbyopia?
Monovision is a specialized refractive surgery technique applied during either a LASIK or PRK procedure. This technique involves intentionally creating a slightly different prescription outcome in each eye to allow one eye to focus primarily on distant objects while the other eye is optimized for near vision tasks.
The monovision technique works by:
- Prescription Difference: With the monovision technique, one eye, usually the dominant eye, is corrected for distance vision, meaning it is treated for the nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic refractive error allowing for clear distance vision. The other eye is left slightly nearsighted or adjusted to be more focused on close-up tasks. This is because the nearsightedness acts as a natural magnifier for up close work.
- Brain Adaptation: The brain adapts to this slightly different prescription between the eyes by favoring one eye for distance and the other for near vision. When looking at objects up close, the brain automatically relies on the eye that is better suited for close-up vision, providing a functional solution for reading, smartphone use, and other near vision activities without the need for reading glasses.
- Testing is Key: Prior to undergoing monovision laser vision correction we will mimic the correction on specialized testing equipment. This allows you to experience the result on the LASIK or PRK procedure first.
- Surgical Procedure: Monovision can be achieved through both LASIK and PRK. The choice of which eye to treat for distance and which for near vision is determined based on surgeon recommendation as well as your individual preferences and eye characteristics.
- Potential Benefits: The monovision technique offers the advantage of reducing or eliminating the need for reading glasses or bifocals in everyday activities. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals who want to achieve correction for their refractive error without still having the potential need for reading glasses for up close reading and activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years, we’ve heard many myths about LASIK. After all, we’ve been in the field of laser vision correction longer than most. Please contact us with any questions.
No, you can have cataract surgery after correcting your vision with LASIK. Routine eye exams are the only way to identify eye conditions that may need treatment.
Yes, even though your vision has been corrected, it is still essential to take care of your eyes by having a yearly routine eye exam. Annual exams can check for issues such as retinal tears or detachment, macular degeneration, and overall health of the cornea and interior of you eye.
No, everyone is not a safe candidate for LASIK. This is why we take the LASIK testing so seriously and while we hate to do it, we will inform some patients that they are not good candidates for LASIK. Fortunately, most patients are safe candidates for LASIK.
Yes, LASIK corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness, AND astigmatism. Your individual candidacy recommendation is based on meticulous diagnostic testing and your unique lifestyle.
LASIK technology has been evolving for over twenty years and has dramatically improved since 1996. Studies on patients who had earlier laser vision correction show their vision is still clear with no significant health effects. It is the most performed elective procedure in the world.
You will notice a dramatic improvement in your vision immediately after your procedure, and most patients feel comfortable driving the very next day!
A majority of our patients describe the procedure as virtually painless and only feel slight pressure during the procedure. Your eyes will be fully numbed with drops prior to your procedure. Some patients feel a mild stinging sensation for a short time after their treatment, but this subsides within hours. Over-the-counter pain medication and frequent use of wetting drops is enough to alleviate any discomfort.
The change made to your vision is meant to be permanent. For a very small percentage of patients, an enhancement treatment may be medically required to fine tune their vision. This is why Whiting Clinic offers a Lifetime Commitment plan for any future necessary laser vision enhancements.