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Monovision LASIK, also called "blended vision," corrects presbyopia, which is when someone cannot see up close. This laser vision correction surgery corrects one eye to see distance and the other eye to see near. Monovision LASIK is different from standard LASIK, which corrects both eyes to see far.
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The natural lens inside your eye focuses your vision to see up close. There are muscles attached which flex or relax the lens, depending on if you are viewing near or far.
Presbyopic patients usually wear bifocal or multifocal lenses to focus close-up and read. Many people with presbyopia are good candidates for monovision LASIK, which corrects this vision problem.
Over the age of 40, our lenses start to stiffen. As this occurs, the muscles are unable to flex the lenses easily. This process impairs your ability to see up close and is what we call presbyopia. Once presbyopia begins, you either need to wear reading glasses, use contacts, or undergo eye surgery to improve your vision.
Presbyopia typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 65.
To help decide if monovision LASIK is suitable for you, consider your type of vision:
Since monovision requires your brain to use one eye for distance and the other for near, there is an adjustment period. If you are considering monovision LASIK, ask your eye doctor if you can try monovision contact lenses first. It is important to see if you can adapt to monovision before committing to the surgery.
Your eye doctor will check your prescription and determine which eye is dominant:
About two-thirds of the population are right eye dominant.
Your doctor can then prescribe contact lenses with monovision correction. After trying the contacts for a few weeks, you will know whether or not monovision is right for you. If you struggle to adapt to monovision contact lenses, monovision LASIK may not be the best option. Although, if you are happy with monovision contact lenses, you can move forward with the surgery.
The actual procedure and recovery are the same as a standard LASIK surgery. Monovision LASIK cost is also similar to a standard LASIK procedure.
With monovision LASIK, the main difference is the adaptation time after surgery. Not only will your eyes need to heal, but your brain will have to adjust to monovision. Adaptation can take a few weeks or even up to a few months.
If you have reduced vision in one eye (such as from trauma, disease, or amblyopia), monovision LASIK may not be the best option for you. Consult your surgeon to see if you are a candidate.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of monovision LASIK below:
Monovision LASIK typically costs $4,000 or more ($2,000 per eye). Since LASIK is an elective procedure, it is not covered by insurance.
Most patients adapt to blended vision surgery after 6 to 8 weeks. This is because the brain has to get used to your new vision, which can take a few weeks or months. Patients who wore monovision contact lenses before getting monovision LASIK may adapt to the surgery quicker than others.
Blurry vision can occur after monovision LASIK surgery. It may cause minor irritation, but will resolve after about two days. Blurry vision after LASIK is usually harmless and normal.
Yes, monovision LASIK can be reversed. If you are unable to adapt to the treatment, your optometrist may recommend an enhancement procedure in the near eye. After the reversal, reading glasses will be necessary to complete near tasks.
Lanchares, Elena, et al. “Hyperelastic Modelling of the Crystalline Lens: Accommodation and Presbyopia.” Journal of Optometry, vol. 5, no. 3, 11 June 2012, pp. 110–120., doi:10.1016/j.optom.2012.05.006.
Pieramici, Sean, and Brad H Feldman. “Monovision LASIK.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 22 Oct. 2019, www.eyewiki.aao.org/Monovision_LASIK.
Vastardis, Iraklis, et al. “Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis Multifocal Ablation Profile Using a Mini-Monovision Approach for Presbyopic Patients with Hyperopia.” Clinical Ophthalmology, 14 July 2016, pp. 1245–1256., doi:10.2147/opth.s102008.