Monovision is the most common laser eye surgery technique to treat people who need glasses for both distance and reading vision. It can also be used to treat people who only require glasses for reading although this is less common.
Monovision is generally suggested for people over the age of 40 years old whose reading vision has started to deteriorate as a consequence of a natural age change called presbyopia.
Monovision is also often used by contact lens wearers and most people adapt to it without any problems. An alternative to monovision is laser blended vision which is generally easier to adapt to than monovision as it results in a more natural correction of your vision. Both of these treatments do however have their limitations and Kamra vision Inlays which are a recent development should also be considered.
Monovision simply refers to vision correction whereby one of the eyes (dominant eye) is corrected for distance vision and the other eye (non-dominant eye) is corrected for near vision.
How Does Monovision Laser Eye Surgery Work?
Monovision correction works equally well for both Lasik and Lasek. The theory behind the correction is exactly the same as it is for contact lenses and this is why you will always be required to have a monovision trial with contact lenses before undergoing surgery.
Although most people adapt perfectly well to monovision, some people do find the big difference between the 2 eyes difficult to cope with and it can leave them feeling slightly off balance. If you already wear monovision contact lenses then you are a perfect candidate for monovision laser eye surgery as you will be 100% certain that you can adapt to this type of correction. There are 2 groups of people who are likely to consider monovision surgery and they are as follows:
- If you have perfect distance vision but need glasses for reading: In this instance, you will only have laser eye surgery on your non-dominant eye and the surgeon will actually laser it to make you short-sighted. Making you short-sighted in your non-dominant eye will mean that this eye will be focused for near vision tasks. It is important to understand however that this eye will no longer be able to focus on distance objects which it would have been able to do prior to surgery.
- If you require both distance and near vision correction: This refers to people who wear varifocals, bifocals or who have 2 separate pairs of glasses. The aim of the surgery is to reshape your cornea so that one eye has perfect distance vision (dominant eye) and the other eye has perfect near vision (non-dominant eye). It is important to understand that the eye corrected for close vision will be blurred for distance vision and the eye corrected for distance vision will be blurred for near vision. However with both eyes open together you should be able to see clearly for both distance and near vision tasks as your brain naturally adapts. It is this ability of your brain to switch from distance to reading vision instantly that needs to be assessed with a monovision contact lens trial.
Monovision is extremely successful at treating both distance and near vision and the aim of the surgery is to leave you completely free from contact lenses/glasses. The only real way to know for certain if you are suitable for monovision laser eye surgery is to book in for a consultation so you can be assessed.