What is presbyopia?
As  a natural part of aging, when a person reaches the approximate age of  40, the lens loses its elasticity. This results in a decreased ability  to focus near even though distant objects may remain sharp. For clear  vision, you will need different corrections for near, intermediate and  far distances. This loss of focusing ability is called "presbyopia" and  usually gets progressively worse with age and necessitates the use of  reading glasses, bifocals, or even trifocals for correction.

How do you treat Presbyopia with contact lens?
For  those who do not like bifocal glasses, bifocal contacts may help. Both  soft bifocal and rigid bifocal contacts are available. The main  advantage of bifocal contacts is that they adequately allow both  distance and near vision at the same time. Many contact lens wearers,  both old and new alike, find that the freedom to be rid of reading and  bifocal glasses (for activities such as dining out, shopping, and  computer work) is worth the minor inconvenience of bifocal contacts.

What is monovision?
For  some people, who are not able to attain the best near vision with  bifocal contacts, we have "monovision". This is when one eye has been  corrected with a contact lens set for best distance vision and the other  eye has a contact set only for near vision. The main disadvantage is  that this does not allow for distance or near depth perception. Also,  some patients are unable to tolerate this amount of discrepancy between  the two eyes.

How does LASIK affect presbyopia?
Presbyopia  is a change occurring at the level of the lens. Since LASIK treats the  cornea, the clear outer membrane of the eye, LASIK does not directly  treat presbyopia. After LASIK procedure, presbyopic patients, ie. those  in their 40’s or older, can expect one of two results. If you are  near-sighted (myopic) prior to treatment, depending on your level of  myopia, after LASIK you may find that your distance vision has improved  though your near vision may not be as good as it was prior to the  procedure. This problem is easily corrected with reading glasses after  LASIK. If you are far-sighted (or hyperopic) prior to treatment, after  undergoing LASIK you may find that both your near and distance vision  have improved, with most of the improvement occurring in the distance  vision. In a far-sighted person, though your near vision may have  improved you may still need to wear reading glasses for the best near  vision possible.

How do you achieve monovision with LASIK?
If  you do not like the idea of having to wear reading glasses after LASIK,  you may want to consider a monovision correction. In monovision  correction, one eye is treated with LASIK for distance and the other eye  is treated with LASIK for better vision at near. As in contact lens  fitting, some people may not be able to tolerate this type of  discrepancy in their depth perception. As a rule we recommend a trial of  monovision with contact lens to ascertain that the patient will enjoy  this dual functionality before the patient is treated with LASIK.

To help you make an  informed decision about LASIK, presbyopia and monovision, please  contact our office by phone or email to discuss these and other options  during your initial consultation.