According to an article found in the All About Vision website, you can’t escape Presbyopia, even if you have never had a vision problem before. It is a condition that is associated with old age, supporting evidence that the condition is actually a natural degenerative process, and therefore, inevitable. Presbyopia involves a diminished ability to focus on near objects, making it difficult to read a book, sew, or even work at the computer.
Now what’s worse is when the patient who is developing presbyopia has also had a history of myopia, which is also known as nearsightedness. Imagine this: a patient who is nearsighted since birth, develops presbyopia at old age. That patient has always been having difficulty seeing distant objects because of myopia, and now, that patient also has a diminishing ability to see near objects. So, both near and far vision are impaired, how can we manage this you ask? Monovision is the answer and it is a very interesting management procedure.
Simply defined, monovision refers to the optical status of having one eye focus at distance and the other eye focused at near, or having a “reading eye” and a “distance vision eye” at the same time. It is a technique to manage presbyopia, as well as presbyopia with myopia interaction. It is effective because the brain will somehow adapt to these changes and will learn to use the distance focused eye for distance viewing and the near focused eye for near viewing. This process of adaptation usually takes about one to two weeks. However, the eye that sees well for distance vision will be slightly blurred up close and the eye that sees well up close will be slightly blurred when looking at distant objects too. Another downside is, there has been evidence that a slight decrease in depth perception also occurs.
Monovision can simply be performed by wearing the correct contact lenses. Ask your optometrist about contact lens fitting where he or she can assist you in looking for a contact lens on one eye to correct your distance vision and a contact lens on your other eye to correct your near vision. This option is more temporary, of course, and more preferred because you can change your mind later on and just have the contact lenses removed.
Monovision can also be achieved by some refractive surgical procedures. As a matter of fact, LASIK can also can be used to create monovision, in which one eye is corrected by refractive surgery for near vision while the other eye is stronger for distance vision. The effects are relatively more permanent and it is only recommended if contact lenses do not work for you. Also, you should be a good candidate for LASIK before being advised to undergo the procedure. This course of action should first be carefully discussed with your LASIK surgeon.
Is monovision for you? Not all patients with presbyopia might need it. Corrective bifocals can be quite effective in itself and are actually a common alternative. Ask your optometrist or ophthalmologist about other management modalities for presbyopia. So that you can choose the treatment that works best for you.