North County Laser Eye Associates

Monovision LASIK – LASIK in Carlsbad CA

Monovision LASIK – LASIK in Carlsbad CA

Many patients having LASIK have both eyes corrected to the same degree, calibrated for distance vision. For healthy younger patients, the eye’s lens is able to accommodate (change focal lengths). This allows the patient to see both near and far objects clearly with both eyes corrected for distance vision. However, as the patient ages, they will eventually experience presbyopia (age-related stiffening of the lens, which prevents the lens from changing shape to focus on near objects). At this point, a correction of both eyes for distance vision will usually cause the patient to need reading glasses for near vision.

Because most LASIK patients prefer to be free of the need for corrective lenses, eye surgeons have developed a technique that can allow patients with presbyopia to become able to focus on both near and far objects after LASIK. This technique is called monovision.

What is monovision?

Monovision means that each eye has a different prescription. Those with monovision LASIK have one eye corrected for distance vision, and the other eye corrected for near vision. For patients with presbyopia, whose lenses cannot change shape to focus on close objects, using monovision can allow them to be free of corrective lenses. The patient will use one eye for distance vision, and the other eye for near vision.

Does monovision really work?

In most cases, the brain adapts very well to monovision. Once the process of adaptation occurs, patients generally find that the brain transitions easily between the two eyes. No effort is required to change eyes when going from distance vision to near vision and back. Most patients (85%) feel satisfied with the results of their monovision LASIK procedure.

Are there any downsides?

In general, any choice has tradeoffs. Although monovision can allow patients to be free of corrective lenses, it can also reduce depth perception in both the near and far fields of vision. Most people will not notice any change, and will continue to function well in all of their activities. However, those who play sports or do a lot of driving at night, or those who do close-up detail work (such as artists), may not do as well with monovision.

Is it possible to try out monovision before committing?

If you don’t like the results of your monovision LASIK procedure, there’s the option to have a revision LASIK procedure to give both eyes the same prescription. In this case, the eye that was first corrected for near vision will be re-corrected for distance vision (to match the other eye). You will then use reading glasses to see up close. Because the majority of patients enjoy their monovision results, some patients opt to go for it without a trial, knowing that monovision can be reversed if they don’t adapt well.

If you’re not sure whether or not you want to choose monovision and you want to see how you’ll adapt before committing, you can try it out using contact lenses first. You will receive a pair of contacts with a different prescription for each eye. You can wear these for a period of time to see how well monovision works for you. If you like it, then you can have monovision LASIK; if not, you can choose a different option.

Who should choose monovision LASIK in Carlsbad CA?

Our patients who have LASIK in Carlsbad CA may choose to have monovision LASIK for a few reasons. Some want monovision because they’re already experiencing the effects of presbyopia. In some cases, patients with no refractive error choose to have LASIK in one eye, correcting it for near vision. This is an effective treatment for presbyopia for many patients, and avoids the need for reading glasses.

If you’re considering having LASIK in Carlsbad CA, or you just want to know more about your options, please contact us to schedule an appointment.