LASIK and Presbyopia
By Andrew E Holzman, MD FACS on May 19, 2012
Beginning around the age of forty, many patients start to experience the vision flaw presbyopia. Many men and women notice blurry vision when reading or when sitting at the computer. Presbyopia is extremely common and is the result of aging. As we age, the natural lens of the eye begins to thicken, causing it to become less flexible. Because of this thickening, the lens of the eye becomes harder. The hardening and loss of flexibility of the lens cause close-up focusing to become difficult. Eyeglasses with bifocals or progressive addition lenses may be used in the correction of presbyopia, while some patients will require only the use of reading glasses. Unfortunately, these treatment options all involve the use of eyeglasses. While effective, eyeglasses are often an unattractive option for men and women with presbyopia. Many of our Washington DC patients who have undergone monovision LASIK surgery are able to see both near and far distances without the need of eyeglasses.
LASIK and Presbyopia
Many of our Virginia LASIK patients with presbyopia benefit from monovision LASIK. Monovision LASIK may be an option for some patients with presbyopia, but not all. Patients with unstable vision or dry eye may not be suitable candidates for LASIK. During monovision LASIK, one eye is corrected for distance vision while the other is corrected for near vision, thereby eliminating the need for reading glasses, eyeglasses, and contact lenses. By using a tiny blade, Dr. Andrew E. Holzman makes a small flap on the surface of the cornea. A laser is then used to reshape the underlying corneal tissue. After this process is completed, the corneal flap is put back into place. Once the cornea has been reshaped, it will be able to focus light more efficiently and effectively.
Some patients find monovision to be difficult to adjust to. Because of this, many of our Washington DC monovision LASIK patients first try monovision with contact lenses. This allows patients to determine whether they can adjust to monovision before permanently changing the eyes.
Risks of Monovision LASIK
Poorer vision quality is possible with monovision LASIK. Another risk of monovision LASIK is a decrease in depth perception. These two risks are most noticeable during levels of low light, such as at night, and when performing activities that require vision to be sharp. Some patients are unable to adjust to the difference in vision between the two eyes. Because presbyopia will continue to worsen over time, monovision LASIK may not be enough to see nearby or close up objects without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses in the future. In such cases, patients may require a second surgery.
Is Monovision LASIK Right for Me?
In order to determine whether monovision LASIK is right for you, you must first undergo a comprehensive eye examination. For patients who are bothered by the effects of presbyopia and do not want to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, monovision LASIK may be a good option. If you are in good health and are willing to compromise some degree of sharp distance vision, you may be a good candidate for monovision LASIK.
Contact Andrew E. Holzman MD, FACS Today
To learn more about LASIK and presbyopia, please contact Dr. Andrew E. Holzman today.