As we age, our eyes undergo significant changes that can be frustrating. Presbyopia is a common condition for people over 40 years old, making it difficult for vision to focus on nearby objects. Some people opt for reading glasses to help them with close-up vision, but these can be an inconvenient solution to a long-term problem.
Fortunately, treatments like monovision can almost entirely eliminate the inconvenience of presbyopia. It works by having one eye focused on far-away vision and the other with a focus on things that are up-close.
There are several options to achieve monovision, including contact lenses, LASIK, and intraocular lenses (IOLs). Understanding your choices and talking with an experienced eye doctor is the best way to decide if monovision is right for you.
What is Monovision?
Monovision is a treatment for presbyopia that corrects one eye to see in the distance, and the other for up-close vision. The eye that your brain considers strongest, or “dominant”, will be corrected for distance vision. The other eye is purposely left nearsighted. When you have monovision, your eyes will work together so you can see clearly at any distance.
It may sound complicated, but many patients have their lives dramatically improved with the visual outcomes of monovision. At Tylock-George Eye Care, one of the unique services we offer is the ability to illustrate what monovision or mini-monovision would look like to you here in our office during any of our evaluation appointments, using lenses selected specifically to complement your eye’s current prescription.
Is mini-monovision right for me?
Mini-monovision is also an option for LASIK that offers a slight amount of near vision correction adequate for many tasks, but still requires you to use reading glasses for smaller print or very fine, near work. Patients will sometimes choose the mini-monovision option if they are not comfortable losing all the distance vision from their non-dominant eye, since it preserves some distance vision.
Do I Have Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is when the natural lens in your eye loses its ability to focus on objects at both a near and far distance. It’s a result of aging and the gradual loss of your lenses’ flexibility. Everyone will eventually experience presbyopia. Many people who suffer from presbyopia find that they suddenly need reading glasses, even if they’ve had 20/20 vision their whole life. Signs of presbyopia include:
- Holding reading materials further away from your face to see clearly
- Objects at a normal reading distance appearing blurry
- Eye fatigue
- Getting headaches when doing up-close tasks
Presbyopia and the sudden need for reading glasses to complete simple tasks that involve reading or focused vision can be extremely irritating. Talking with an experienced eye surgeon is a great way to start exploring alternative solutions that could benefit your life.
Monovision with Contact Lenses
One possible solution to presbyopia is contact lenses with monovision. This means your contact lenses will have two separate prescriptions, one that produces the effect of nearsightedness and the other, farsightedness.
You and your eye doctor can discuss the different variations of monovision with contact lenses, including mini-monovision and modified monovision, to find the best option for your needs.
Monovision with LASIK
If you’re someone who likes the visual outcomes of monovision but doesn’t want to rely on contact lenses, monovision with LASIK is a great alternative to consider. During monovision LASIK, your surgeon will correct the distance vision in your dominant eye and purposely make the other eye slightly nearsighted in a precise way.
Typically, your ophthalmologist or optometrist will want you to try out monovision in the office with trial frames to make sure you can adapt to this type of vision long-term before making the commitment to a long-term solution. This helps you get the best LASIK results possible.
Monovision with Intraocular Lenses
If you’re undergoing cataract surgery and want to lessen your reliance on reading glasses, ask your ophthalmologist about IOL monovision. Similar to the other monovision options, IOL monovision means that the intraocular lenses will be set to different prescriptions, one for seeing up-close and one for far away.
Cataract surgery is designed to restore your sight, so exploring options that can greatly reduce your reliance on glasses post-surgery will help you enjoy your clear vision even more. In order to qualify for IOL monovision, your eye care professionals will conduct a variety of tests and gather information about your lifestyle, profession, and hobbies and use these insights to help you find the procedure that works for you.
Will Monovision Help Me?
We often hear from patients that as their near vision declines, the inconvenience of needing reading glasses in their daily life is too much of a hassle. Many patients enjoy the benefits of monovision every day, regaining their freedom and independence with this solution.
Benefits of Monovision
Aside from reducing your dependence on reading glasses, monovision can improve your activity level, confidence, and ability to perform daily tasks. Some patients think that reading glasses make them appear older than they are. They often find that monovision helps them look and see their best.
Ultimately, the benefits of monovision depend on your ability to adjust to this method of seeing. Consulting with an experienced ophthalmologist is the best way to explore this option.
Monovision in Dallas
At Tylock-George Laser Eye Care, our experienced staff and laser vision correction surgeon can give you customized vision solutions to meet your goals. Our team understands how frustrating a reality with presbyopia can be and will go the extra mile to help you enjoy your best vision possible.