Learn your Options Beyond Over-the-Counter-Readers - 09/04/19
A technique to reduce the need for reading glasses in middle age and beyond
If you are considering laser vision correction or cataract surgery, consider monovision. Your doctor will discuss your individual visual requirements and suitability for this technique during your evaluations.
Q: What is Presbyopia?
A: Presbyopia is a normal aging process that results from the gradual thickening and stiffening of the crystalline lens of the eye and loss of muscle function controlling lens shape. As we age, it becomes hard to focus on near objects or read print when fully corrected for distance vision with: glasses, contact lenses, laser vision correction, or cataract surgery. Ordinary close-up tasks like seeing your mobile phone, reading the newspaper, a menu, or a map become difficult. The traditional approach to correct for presybopia is to use reading glasses, bifocal spectacles or multifocal contact lenses.
Q: What is Monovision?
A: Monovision is an alternative approach to managing presbyopia. This technique has been used with success for many years by presbyopic contact lenses wearers. It is a technique that has been successfully applied in laser vision correction and cataract surgery. In monovision, one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye is left slightly nearsighted to correct for near vision. When you focus at a particular distance, your vision is clearer in one eye than the other. Since your brain interprets what your eyes see, it learns to select the images that are in focus and ignore those that are not.
Q: Does Monovision totally eliminate the need for reading glasses?
A: Mononvision is generally better tolerated if the difference between the two eyes is not too great. Therefore, the reading eye is left with minimal nearsightedness so you can tolerate the difference between the eyes. This means, you may need reading glasses for particularly demanding visual tasks such as reading small print, or working in poor lighting. For less demanding tasks such as reading the headlines, a tag at the store or seeing to cook and eat, you probably will not need reading glasses.
Q: Is Monovision any use to me if I do not yet need reading glasses?
A: Many patients who are approaching presbyopia, shortly after age 40, choose monovision. The value of this choice is monovision delays the need for reading glasses by many years. Monovision is generally not appreciated or tolerated well in young people who are not yet near presbyopic age. Some patients feel comfortable with monovision immediately following their procedure, while others may note the benefits more gradually, in the weeks to follow, as they return to normal daily activities without readers.