When you have LASIK, you and your doctor may decide to leave one eye slightly nearsighted. This is called monovision and may allow you to maintain your ability to read without glasses after you begin to experience presbyopia (the need for reading glasses as you get older). Your other eye will be fully treated for distance vision.
Who Is a Candidate for Monovision LASIK?
Monovision LASIK is a compromise; to achieve better near vision, you have to give up some sharpness in your distance vision. Monovision is helpful for near-vision tasks such as scanning a menu or article, but not for reading fine print or reading for a prolonged period of time. Monovision LASIK may not be suitable for active individuals, such as those who play golf or tennis, or who drive a great deal at night.
During your laser vision correction consultation, you and your eye doctor will decide which LASIK eye surgery procedure is best for you.
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How Does Monovision Work?
In a typical non-monovision LASIK procedure, the physician wants distance vision as close to perfect as possible in both eyes. In a monovision case, the physician intentionally corrects the nondominant eye for near vision, while correcting the dominant eye as close to perfect for distance vision as possible. The result is that the patient uses the dominant eye mostly for distance and the non-dominant eye mostly for close-up vision.
When both eyes work together, the brain naturally selects the clearer vision, and monovision makes it possible to repeatedly change the range of focus without constantly having to remove or add corrective lenses. For some patients, there is an initial adjustment period to get used to this new vision. Others adjust immediately. Prior to surgery, we recommend that you use contact lenses to simulate monovision.