LASIK eye surgery is a safe and effective treatment to lessen a patients need to wear contacts or glasses. LASIK is an excellent option for individuals who are myopic, hyperopic and who have astigmatism. LASIK surgery cannot correct presbyopia, the eye condition that results from the natural aging process of the eyes. Depending on a patient's prescription, Dr. Kraff can often perform Monovision Lasik. Monovision means, Dr. Kraff will correct your dominant eye for distance and under-correct the non-dominant eye for near. Together, when using both eyes, the patient can maintain quality distance and near vision. If a patient is only presbyopic, with no other refractive errors, monovision Lasik may not be an option.
Presbyopia, also known as age-related near vision loss, is the normal aging process of the eyes typically affecting individuals over the age of 40. Everyone's eyes have a lens that sits behind the iris, or colored part of the eye. This lens is attached to muscles and depending on where we are looking, or focusing, those muscles contract to adjust the lens and bring the images into focus. As we age, the muscles lose their elasticity and can no longer move as easily to adjust the lens, creating near vision and reading problems. To accommodate for this, patients must use reading glasses to help magnify an image, or improve their reading vision. Symptoms of presbyopia may include:
Lasik eye surgery is a safe and effective way to help lessen an individual's need to wear contacts or glasses. Although Lasik is an excellent way to improve distance vision, it unfortunately cannot treat presbyopia. If a patient is presbyopic along with another refractive error such as myopia or hyperopia, Monovision Lasik is an option for a patient to correct their distance vision and their near vision. Monovision Lasik occurs when Dr. Kraff treats the patient's dominant eye for distance vision, and their non-dominant eye for near vision, allowing an individual to maintain good vision for both distance and near. If a patient is only presbyopic, with no other refractive error, Lasik may not be a suitable option.
During LASIK eye surgery, a laser is used to remove a microscopic amount of tissue from the cornea. By removing tissue from the cornea, the light that enters the eye can better focus on the retina, improving the quality of the image being viewed. However, when an individual is presbyopic, the issue is not the way light is focusing on the retina but rather, how the lens of the eye is adjusting to bring an image into focus. Presbyopia is known as age related vision loss, as it mostly affects individuals over the age of 40. Laser presbyopia correction with Lasik is possible for individuals who have a refractive error such as myopia or hyperopia, in addition to presbyopia. Presbyopia Lasik treatment, known as Monovison, occurs when Dr.Kraff corrects one eye for distance and one eye for reading. Together with both eyes open, a patient can achieve good quality vision at distance and at near.
If you are considering Lasik, and have realized that you may also have presbyopia, you have options. Scheduling a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with Dr. Kraff, a leader in vision correction surgery, will allow you to determine if there is an option for you to treat your age related farsightedness.
If you qualify for Lasik eye surgery for presbyopia, to correct your distance and reading vision, you will have to undergo a pre-op eye exam. At this appointment, you will have a series of tests, including vision stability tests, corneal thickness tests, corneal mapping, and a dilated eye exam. These tests and measurements will give Dr. Kraff a more in-depth understanding of your specific refractive errors. Patients are required to refrain from using contact lenses for one week prior to the pre-op exam, this ensures all measurements are taken while the eyes are in their most natural state.
On the day of surgery, you should expect to be in our office for approximately 2 hours. You will need a way to get home without driving yourself. Lasik is a two step process. During step 1, Dr. Kraff will use a laser to create a thin flap on the surface of the cornea. Once created, Dr. Kraff can begin step 2, by lifting the flap and using another laser to precisely remove a microscopic amount of tissue from the cornea. This part of the Lasik treatment lasts only a few seconds. Once completed, Dr. Kraff will realign the flap, making sure it goes back exactly into the spot it was before the treatment started.
Within 24 hours, patients generally have a high level of functioning vision, and can go back to most of their normal day to day activities. As you can see, Lasik and presbyopia is a safe, effective and relatively easy way to achieve reading vision correction, for individuals who are presbyopic.
The best way to determine if lasik presbyopia correction is an option for you, would be to come into our office for a no-cost, no-obligation, consultation. During your consultation, you will meet with a refractive surgery consultant, who will perform several screening tests. Through this examination process, Dr. Kraff will be able to diagnose your exact visual deficiencies, and will be able to determine if Lasik will be an effective treatment option for you. If a patient is purely presbyopic, with no other refractive error, they may not qualify for presbyopia correction.
As a patient works through their age-related eyesight changes, they should feel confident that there is a treatment for everyone, from non-invasive to surgical options. Here are some options to consider when looking for reading vision solutions.
One treatment option to consider is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE). Using a method very similar to cataract surgery, RLE involves replacing the eye's natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens implant. Some of the lens implants are multifocal or trifocal lenses that can improve presbyopia and reduce the need for reading glasses. This is a more invasive surgery that is mainly performed at a surgical center.
Monovision PRK is similar to Monovision Lasik, in that they both result in one eye being treated for distance vision and one eye being treated for near vision. The difference lies in the method the doctor uses to access the corneal tissue. During the Lasik procedure, a thin flap is created on the cornea, lifted to expose the underlying, then the laser is applied to shape the corneal tissue. During the PRK procedure, instead of creating a flap on the cornea, the surface cells of the cornea are gently brushed away to expose the underlying corneal tissue. The same laser is applied to the cornea as in the Lasik procedure. A soft bandage contact lens is applied to the corneal to assist in healing and aid in the comfort of the patient, as the corneal cells heal and regenerate.
Over the counter reading glasses are a simple, inexpensive way to treat presbyopia if near vision is your only visual deficiency. They can be purchased easily at many retail locations.
If you already wear glasses, you may need to add a bifocal or trifocal to your lenses. Your doctor will provide you with a prescription to bring with you to your optician to update your glasses.
If you prefer to wear contact lenses, there are two types available: monovision contacts and multifocal contacts. With monovision contacts, just like monovision Lasik, one eye is corrected for distance vision and one eye is corrected for near vision, so both near and distance vision are corrected without glasses.
Dr. Kraff has been performing LASER eye surgery for the past 3 decades. Dr. Kraff was a part of the initial 1991 FDA clinical study which helped to get LASIK approved in this country in 1997. Having performed over 70,000 procedures, you will not find a more skilled and qualified surgeon than Dr. Colman Kraff.
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Unfortunately, Lasik cannot prevent presbyopia. Everyone will experience symptoms of presbyopia as they continue to age into their 40’s. The best thing you can do is have an annual eye exam, and explain to your doctor any visual problems you may be experiencing.
The cost of lasik surgery for presbyopia can vary depending on the type of procedure Dr. Kraff recommends. Dr. Kraff will always recommend the procedure that will result in the greatest level of vision with the least amount of risk.
Presbyopia can not be reversed, but it can be easily corrected. From simply wearing reading glasses to Laser eye surgery, there is a solution for everyone.
Just like any surgical procedure, laser surgery does have potential risks, although very minimal.