Monovision (or blended vision) is not a procedure but rather an approach for treating presbyopia. As part of the normal aging process beginning in the mid-40s, the lens in the eye starts to lose its flexibility, making near vision blurred. When this happens, people find they need to use reading glasses or bifocals to restore close up vision.
Monovision is a technique whereby the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision, and the dominant eye is corrected for distance vision. The brain learns to integrate the optical signals, and the monovision patient thus enjoys both near and distance vision.
Monovision is a simple, effective alternative for people 40+ who want to reduce or eliminate their dependency on glasses and contact lenses, but it is not for everyone. A small portion of the population cannot adjust to monovision, and for them it would not be a good choice. At Herschel Lasik, our patients participate in a simple test prior to surgery that simulates monovision. Using contact lenses, the test gives our patients the opportunity to try out monovision in their normal activities to see if it feels natural and comfortable.
For the majority of patients who do adjust well to monovision and who do not want to rely on contacts and glasses for clear vision, monovision can be achieved with LASIK/PRK or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)/Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (ReLACS) and premium IOLs.
Monovision Achieved with LASIK/PRK
LASIK/PRK can be used to achieve monovision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatic. Both eyes are treated with LASIK/PRK; the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision, and the dominant eye is fully corrected for distance vision. The eyes work together (with the brain) to give clear vision, both near and distance.
Monovision Achieved with Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery (ReLACS) and Premium IOLs
Monovision can also be achieved with premium lenses at the time of Refractive Lens Exchange or Refractive Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery. After the clear lens or cataract is removed, a toric or aspheric IOL is inserted in its place. The non-dominant eye is treated for near vision and the dominant eye for distance vision. Again, the eyes work together to give clear vision, both near and distance.
If monovision does not feel comfortable, there are other options available to our patients to help them achieve their best possible vision. One alternative would be to have LASIK to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism in both eyes for distance and wear reading glasses as needed for near vision. Another alternative would be to have RLE or ReLACS with multifocal IOLs.
There are many options for monovision. Dr. Herschel will perform a comprehensive eye exam and get to know you, your lifestyle, and your vision goals to determine which monovision option is best for you.
Who Is a Candidate for Monovision?
- Anyone in their late 30s or 40+ with healthy eyes who has a problem with near vision and for whom monovision is natural and comfortable
- Anyone in their late 30s or 40+ with healthy eyes who has good near vision but a problem with distance vision and for whom monovision is natural and comfortable