Our eyes and vision will almost certainly change considerably during our lifetime. From rapidly developing when we are infants, to developing conditions like myopia later on, there are many different ways in which our eyesight can change. Since we rely on it so heavily, it’s no surprise that vision problems can seriously affect our quality of life.
A large percentage of people may find that they suffer from a refractive eye condition. These are where the light that enters the eyes isn’t refracted onto the retina properly, meaning the message sent from the eyes to the brain isn’t clear, resulting in blurred vision. Many people who have refractive eye errors choose to undergo laser vision correction, and more specifically LASIK, to correct these errors and so that they can see clearly with little or no need for glasses or contact lenses.
However, after the age of 40, most people will start to develop a condition called presbyopia. Presbyopia is a natural and unavoidable change to the natural lens of the eye. As we get older, changes to the cells of the lens cause it to stiffen and harden. When this happens, it’s no longer as flexible as it once was, meaning that it can’t alter itself to focus clearly on objects at different distances. Instead, distance vision remains clearer and near vision, such as when you are reading a book or an instruction leaflet, becomes blurred.
This means that as you get older, you may find yourself needing to wear glasses for tasks like reading, even if you have not previously needed prescription glasses thanks to your LASIK eye surgery.
Unsurprisingly, many older people who are considering LASIK may be wondering if it’s worth getting the procedure if presbyopia is likely to set in over the next few years and alter their vision anyway. Fortunately, there is a special type of LASIK that is specifically recommended for people over the age of 40 – monovision.
Monovision is an innovative LASIK technique that is designed specifically for people over the age of 40 who wish to be able to avoid the need for reading glasses and are prepared to accept a slight reduction in their distance vision to achieve this.
Just like LASIK, monovision is a laser vision correction technique that permanently alters the shape of the cornea in order for the light to be refracted properly. However, unlike standard LASIK, monovision corrects your dominant eye for distance, while the other eye is left slightly nearsighted to allow for near/reading vision. After a period of adjustment in which the visual system gets used to this new arrangement, the brain adjusts so that vision appears clear enough to manage without glasses or contact lenses at either distance.
If you are interested in LASIK but have concerns about presbyopia, or if you have questions about monovision, our knowledgeable team would be delighted to help. Please contact Manhattan LASIK Center at our office in Paramus, New Jersey at (201) 843-3861 to schedule a FREE consultation today!