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Is it possible to correct both myopia and presbyopia at the same time? Yes, laser eye surgery is an effective option to correct problems such as short-sightedness, astigmatism, and long-sightedness.
If you are over 40 years old, you might be someone who is both near and far-sighted and looking to reduce your need for glasses or contacts. It’s important that you keep both of these conditions in mind when seeking vision correction options such as LASIK eye surgery. The Kraff Eye Institute offers corrective surgery for those who struggle with seeing things that are both close and far away.
Can You Be Nearsighted and Farsighted at the Same Time?
Yes, you can suffer from both nearsightedness and farsightedness at the same time. Some patients are even farsighted in one eye and nearsighted in the other which is called anisometropia. LASIK surgery for myopia and presbyopia is best executed by our team of experts, whose experience and dedication are essential to a successful result.
Why Farsightedness Gets Worse with Age
Can you get LASIK for farsightedness? Yes, full-distance correction is possible with LASIK. Presbyopia, or farsightedness, is something that occurs in everyone as they age. For most people, symptoms of presbyopia begin to show in the early to mid-40s. There is a small lens inside of the eye that is located right behind the iris, the part of the eye that gives the eye its color. This lens and its mobility are what determine the level of presbyopia you may have.
For younger people, this small lens is flexible, similar to a soft rubber ball. When the ball is in your hand and you aren’t adding pressure, it’s almost perfectly spherical. When thrown against a wall, the ball turns into a flatter shape upon contact. This is similar to the shapes the lens inside of your eye takes as you adjust your vision between the distance and up close.
While looking at something up close your lens is round and spherical, if you look at something farther away, the lens flattens. Of course, this movement is out of your control and occurs automatically. For example, when you pick up your phone to check an email, your brain alerts your eyes and tells them to flex certain muscles to make the lens more rounded. On the contrary, when you’re looking at an object across the room, the muscles in your eyes relax, causing the lens to flatten
LASIK Treatment Options for Presbyopia
LASIK surgery is performed on the surface of the cornea, so it doesn’t correct for presbyopia. As we mentioned, presbyopia affects the lens inside of your eye. As you begin to contemplate LASIK eye surgery, you’ll have a couple of different options to consider. Your team will discuss your options with you and let you know which is the most ideal for your situation, and the goals you wish to achieve.
Monovision LASIK with “Blended Vision”
What is monovision? “Blended vision” is another term used for monovision. Monovision is achieved when one eye is corrected to see far distances and the other eye is corrected to see up close. When you have both eyes open at once and working together, your brain automatically blends the distances together, allowing you to see both near and far. This approach is beneficial for the majority of patients who are at least 40 years old.
Because the brain is so adaptable, patients become accustomed to their new eyesight during the first few weeks following the monovision procedure. Patients become accustomed to how each eye operates differently, and monovision becomes very natural. LASIK for presbyopia can reduce the need to wear reading glasses for tasks that require you to look up close. Many patients can forego glasses or contacts altogether.
Distance Vision with Readers for Up-Close Tasks
Can LASIK fix presbyopia? Now that we know the answer to this question, let’s determine why so many people start to wear bifocals or reading glasses during their mid-forties. Even after the LASIK procedure or if you’re corrected for perfect distance vision in both eyes, those who are nearsighted might still require reading glasses to see things up close. As the lens inside of the eye ages, it becomes more rigid and is unable to adapt when alternating between distance and near vision. Some people prefer to be completely free of reading glasses, while others don't mind having to use bifocals or over-the-counter reading glasses.
Do I Need Monovision LASIK?
Does LASIK fix near and farsightedness? Yes! You might need help determining if LASIK is the right option for you. To help you make your decision, consider the type of vision that you have:
- Farsightedness (presbyopic) patients have difficulties seeing things that are close up as they get older. These patients can elect to have monovision LASIK, as both eyes can’t be corrected to see up close.
- Nearsightedness (myopic) patients have a hard time seeing far away but can see close up without using glasses. Myopic patients need to be aware that a standard LASIK procedure will correct the vision in both eyes but could take away their ability to see up close. It’s possible to have a standard LASIK procedure and still need reading glasses afterward.
Monovision requires your brain to use one eye to see things far away and the other to see things up close. Obviously, there will be an adjustment period. If you'd like to consider the monovision LASIK procedure, make sure to talk with your doctor beforehand and discuss monovision contact lenses. This is a good test to determine whether you are able to adapt to this vision before undergoing surgery.
Reasons for Considering Monovision
Here are common considerations for getting monovision:
- You’re 40 years or older in age;
- You’re seeking the convenience of a lifestyle free of glasses;
- You’re opposed to wearing reading glasses for near work;
- No participation in high-performance sports such as tennis and motorcycle riding;
- You’ve tried monovision contact lenses successfully;
- You're “okay” with the possibility of using distance glasses.
Reasons for Considering Full Distance Laser Vision Correction
Here are some reasons to consider full-distance laser vision correction:
- You’re 40 or younger (will eventually use readers in their mid-forties);
- If you’re over 40 and seeking the “perfect” distance vision for sports or night driving;
- You’re “okay” with needing over-the-counter reading glasses for work close up;
- You’ve tried monovision contact lenses but couldn’t adjust;
- Difficulties adapting to vision changes such as new glasses or bifocals;
- Having a weak or lazy eye;
- A large amount of farsightedness.
How Monovision LASIK Works
Monovision LASIK begins with your doctor checking your prescription to determine which eye is dominant:
- In general, the dominant eye is usually the eye that can see distances;
- The near eye is the non-dominant eye;
- A small percentage of people do not have a dominant eye, in this case, you can try monovision in either eye.
Roughly two-thirds of the population is right-eye dominant.
From there, your doctor will prescribe you contact lenses that will mimic monovision correction. Once you’ve worn them for a few weeks, you’ll be able to determine whether monovision is right for you. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to the contact lenses, it could be a sign that monovision LASIK might not be your best option. On the other hand, if you’re happy with these lenses, you’re a good candidate for surgery.
How Long Does It Take to Adjust to Blended Vision?
Adjusting to monovision LASIK requires a bit of time following surgery. Your brain is adjusting to monovision and it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on several factors.
Monovision LASIK Pros and Cons
Before you move forward with your decision, you’ll want to consider the monovision side effects in addition to the general pros and cons of this procedure.
Advantages of Monovision LASIK
- You’ll have less of a dependency on glasses and/or contacts. Many people seek this procedure so they can be completely rid of corrective lenses following surgery.
- Touch-ups in the future are possible as your vision could change following the monovision LASIK procedure. You may need a second procedure in the future.
- Near vision is customizable which means that if you experienced challenges with your monovision contacts, mini-monovision may be a better option. Your surgeon will reduce the amount of near correction which improves how well you see in the distance.
- It’s easier to adapt to mini-monovision compared with standard monovision. Even though your vision might not be as clear as it could be, mini-monovision gives you some reading ability. This is ideal for those who drive often but don’t regularly read.
Disadvantages of Monovision LASIK
- Vision imbalance if your brain has a difficult time adapting to monovision. This could cause dizziness or feeling unbalanced, some people experience temporary double vision or discomfort. With time, these symptoms usually improve.
- Blurry vision at distance or at near. Generally, your distance or near vision will be slightly less clear when both eyes operate at the same time.
- Reduced depth perception during activities such as driving or participating in sports. If you often perform these activities, make sure to put some thought into your decision to move forward with a monovision treatment.
- Vision changes even after getting surgery as vision naturally worsens with age. Some patients need a touch-up LASIK procedure while others might need glasses or contacts in the future.
How Much Does Monovision LASIK Cost?
The cost of monovision LASIK can range anywhere from $4,000, or $2,000 per eye. In most cases, insurance doesn’t cover this surgery because it is considered to be elective and glasses or contact lenses are acceptable alternatives. However, it is worth discussing with your insurance provider, as every policy differs.
The Bottom Line
If you’re interested in this procedure or you have questions for our team, we are here to help you! We can even show you what monovision will look and feel like. Make sure to schedule a free consultation if you’re interested in learning more about monovision LASIK at the Kraff Eye Institute and one of our friendly team members will be in touch.