Updated on  September 12, 2023
5 min read

Monovision LASIK

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Monovision LASIK corrects one eye to see distance and the other eye to see near. This is different from standard LASIK eye surgery, which corrects both eyes to see far. 

Do I Need Monovision LASIK?

Because 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.

You may be a suitable candidate for monovision LASIK if you:

  • Suffer from presbyopia, which is the age-related loss of near vision
  • Already wear contact lenses or eyeglasses to correct your vision
  • Are over 40 and have difficulty seeing up close
  • Are in good general health
  • Are not pregnant or nursing

People with farsightedness (hyperopic) can also benefit from monovision LASIK. A standard LASIK procedure will correct nearsightedness (myopia) in both eyes. It may take away the ability to see up close. You can have a standard LASIK procedure and need reading glasses afterward or have monovision LASIK.

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How Monovision LASIK Works

Your eye doctor will check your prescription and determine which eye is dominant:

  • The dominant eye is usually the distance eye
  • The non-dominant eye is the near eye
  • A small percentage of people do not have a dominant eye. In this case, you can try monovision one eye.

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. However, if you're happy with monovision contact lenses, you can proceed with the surgery. 

During surgery, your doctor will reshape the cornea of one eye to correct near vision. They will leave the other eye untouched or corrected for distance vision. This allows both eyes to work together and provide clear vision at all distances.

Adjustment Period

With monovision LASIK, there is an adjustment period. In addition to healing time, your brain must adjust to monovision.

Adaptation can take a few weeks or even up to a few months.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia illustration

Over the age of 40, people's lenses start to stiffen. As this occurs, the muscles are unable to easily flex the lenses (presbyopia). This process impairs the ability to see up close.

Once presbyopia begins, you either need to wear reading glasses, use contacts, or undergo eye surgery to improve your vision.

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.

Monovision LASIK Pros and Cons

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of monovision LASIK below:

Advantages of Monovision LASIK

Reduce dependence on glasses or contacts. You may seek monovision LASIK to be free of any corrective lenses post-surgery. 

Future touch-ups are possible. Because your vision may change after monovision LASIK, there is a possibility you can have a second LASIK procedure in the future.

The near vision is customizable. If you find monovision contacts challenging to adapt to, consider mini-monovision. Your surgeon will reduce the near correction, improving your distance vision.

Mini-monovision is also easier to get used to than standard monovision. While your near vision may not be as clear as possible, mini-monovision still gives you some ability to read. This is an excellent option if you drive a lot but don’t spend too much time reading.

Disadvantages of Monovision LASIK

Vision imbalance. If your brain has difficulty adapting to monovision, your vision may feel imbalanced or dizzy. You can experience discomfort or temporary double vision. This sensation usually improves over time.

Blur at a distance or near. Your distance or near vision will generally be slightly less clear than with both eyes viewing simultaneously.

Reduced depth perception. Monovision can affect activities, such as driving or sports, that require depth perception. If you regularly perform many of these activities, consider monovision with caution.

Vision changes. Your near vision may worsen with age, even after receiving monovision LASIK. People who experience these changes need to have a touch-up LASIK procedure or go back to wearing glasses and contacts.


Monovision LASIK is a laser eye surgery that corrects one eye for near vision and the other for distance vision. This allows both eyes to work together and provide clear vision at all distances.

Consult your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

Monovision LASIK FAQs

How much does monovision LASIK cost?

Monovision LASIK typically costs $4,000 or more ($2,000 per eye). Because LASIK is an elective procedure, insurance does not cover it.

How long does it take to adjust to monovision LASIK?

Most people 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. People who wore monovision contact lenses before getting monovision LASIK may adapt to the surgery quicker than others.

Why do I have blurry vision after monovision LASIK?

Blurry vision can occur after monovision LASIK surgery. It may cause minor irritation, but will resolve after about 2 days. Blurry vision after LASIK is usually harmless and normal.

Can monovision LASIK be reversed?

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, you will need reading glasses to complete near tasks.

Updated on  September 12, 2023
6 sources cited
Updated on  September 12, 2023
  1. Lanchares, et al. “Hyperelastic Modelling of the Crystalline Lens: Accommodation and Presbyopia.Journal of Optometry, 2012.

  2. Pieramici S, and Feldman, BH. “Monovision LASIK.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2019.

  3. Vastardis, et al. “Femtosecond Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis Multifocal Ablation Profile Using a Mini-Monovision Approach for Presbyopic Patients with Hyperopia.” Clinical Ophthalmology, 2016.

  4. Woolfson, J. "Is Monovision LASIK Right for You?" Woolfson Eye Institute.

  5. Garcia-Gonzalez M, Teus MA, Henandez-Verdejo JL. "Visual Outcomes of LASIK-Induced Monovision in Myopic Patients With Presbyopia." American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2010.

  6. Reilly, et al. "Surgical Monovision and Monovision Reversal in LASIK." The Journal of Cornea and External Disease, 2006.

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