One of the most common frustrations associated with aging is the need for reading glasses, typically after the age of 40. Even if you’ve had stellar, 20/20 vision previously, you might find that your vision begins to become blurry as you get older. The culprit is known as presbyopia, which actually means “old eye” in Greek. What happens as your eyes age is the clear lens becomes more rigid and doesn’t change shape as easily. These seemingly minor changes make close-up tasks, like reading or sewing, more difficult.
Of course, you can get reading glasses. But many people find relying on ‘readers’ to be a hassle and would prefer another option. So, is there one? Here’s the scoop on eye surgery for reading, including the relationship between LASIK and reading glasses.
You may be familiar with traditional LASIK laser eye surgery, but there’s another type called Monovision LASIK, which essentially is eye surgery for those with reading glasses. The basic premise of standard LASIK is that an ophthalmologist uses a laser to reshape the patient’s cornea and improve light refraction.
With Monovision LASIK, each eye is individually treated. The dominant eye is corrected to have sharp distance vision, while the non-dominant eye is corrected to have better close-up vision. In other words, the LASIK surgeon fully corrects the refractive errors in one eye and intentionally leaves the other eye mildly nearsighted. The give-and-take of this type of LASIK for reading is that neither a patient’s distance vision nor close-up vision will be crystal clear. But the fully corrected eye sees distant objects very clearly, and the nearsighted eye provides sharper near vision without reading glasses. The eyes will adjust to their individual changes and then work together to provide overall better close-up vision while maintaining good distance vision.
Am I a Candidate for Monovision LASIK?
Monovision LASIK is an attractive option for people who are tired of dealing with the inconvenience of carrying around reading glasses, or who regularly need to see close-up objects for their work or favorite hobbies. Your eye doctor can give you a full evaluation to determine if the structure of your eyes, their overall health and the kind of lifestyle you maintain make you a good candidate for this procedure.
People who may not be a great fit for Monovision LASIK are those who drive at night often, use heavy machinery or are serious athletes, but your ophthalmologist can make the final call depending on your specific circumstances. For those who are not a candidate for monovision LASIK, there are other options available like KAMRA or Refractive Lens Exchange that can also help you achieve good near vision. Your surgeon can determine the best options for you.If you’re interested in ditching your reading glasses and learning more about the possibilities of eye surgery for reading glasses, contact us today to ask about our exams and procedures.