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Will I Still Need Reading Glasses after LASIK?

By Andrew Holzman on October 12, 2016

Four reading glasses on a white backgroundPatients undergo LASIK surgery to reduce or completely eliminate their need for visual aids such as contact lenses and glasses. This may lead some patients to question why they would want to undergo surgery if they will still need reading glasses after LASIK. There is a lot of confusion surrounding this issue, which is why Dr. Andrew E. Holzman and the team at TLC Laser Eye Centers have dedicated this blog post to the topic. The truth is that LASIK effectively treats farsightedness, a refractive error that results in blurry near vision and the need for reading glasses. LASIK, in its traditional form, does not treat presbyopia, an age-related condition that also causes blurry near vision and the need for reading glasses. To find out if you will likely need reading glasses after LASIK, contact our Washington, DC practice to schedule a LASIK evaluation.

Farsightedness and Reading Glasses

Farsightedness is a condition that is caused by abnormalities in the shape of the cornea. In a patient with 20/20 vision, the cornea has a round shape that reflects light directly onto the retina. In a farsighted patient, the cornea is either too flat or too short, which causes light to reflect behind the retina. As a result, farsighted patients have difficulty seeing near objects. They require glasses or contact lenses to read and view photos with ease.

Farsighted patients can also undergo laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK to permanently correct their vision. During LASIK surgery, surgeons reshape the cornea with an excimer laser. In the case of a farsighted patient, precise amounts of corneal tissue will be removed to create the ideal round shape. By correcting the abnormalities in corneal shape, light can reflect directly on the retina, thereby producing clear vision.

When a skilled surgeon such as Dr. Holzman performs LASIK surgery, patients can achieve clear vision at all distances, and no longer rely on glasses and contact lenses to see clearly. For patients in their 20s and 30s, they can expect to see clearly without the need for reading glasses.

Presbyopia and Reading Glasses

Presbyopia is an age-related condition that typically develops when patients are in their 40s. This condition will eventually affect all patients, including those who have undergone LASIK. Presbyopia occurs when the interior lens thickens and loses flexibility, making it difficult for patients to focus on near objects. Because this condition is unrelated to the shape of the cornea, traditional LASIK surgery has no effect on it. To treat presbyopia, patients must wear reading glasses when viewing close objects or undergo a surgical procedure.

Dr. Holzman offers the Kamra™ inlay, a thin lens with a pinhole in its center. It increases your depth of focus, making near objects clear while still maintaining your distance vision.

Monovision LASIK is a technique in which one eye is corrected for near vision and the other eye corrected for distance vision using LASIK surgery. We recommend that patients try this technique with contact lenses first to see how they adjust to monovision. If patients are happy with the results of monovision contact lenses, we may perform monovision LASIK surgery.

To schedule a LASIK consultation, contact the practice of Andrew E. Holzman, MD, FACS.

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