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Can LASIK Fix Presbyopia?
LASIK is a popular laser vision correction procedure that fixes refractive errors like:
How Bad Can Your Presbyopia Be for LASIK?
Presbyopia is a condition that affects people as they get older. It’s defined as the inability to see things clearly up close.
The condition usually begins in someone’s 40s and worsens until they reach 65. A presbyopic person who has no additional refractive problems may not be eligible for monovision therapy.
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How LASIK Corrects Presbyopia
While LASIK can treat nearsightedness and farsightedness, this isn’t the case for presbyopia.
Unfortunately, there’s no method to avoid or reverse the condition because it’s caused by normal aging. However, monovision laser surgery is considered a viable treatment option for presbyopia that uses the LASIK process.
Before proceeding with the operation, most patients try out glasses or contact lenses to see if they can handle having one eye corrected for distance vision and the other for near vision.
The following can treat presbyopia:
- Reading glasses
- Contact lenses
What are Multifocal Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implants?
A multifocal intraocular lens implant is a type of prosthetic lens used in cataract surgery. They are usually placed in the eyes via lens replacement surgery to improve near, intermediate, and far-distance vision.
Multifocal IOLs have concentric rings etched into them, which allow the images from different distances to focus on the retina. They restore visual function and reduce the need for eyeglasses.
Alternatives to LASIK for Presbyopia
LASIK eye surgery effectively corrects most refractive errors. But the procedure is not for everyone, including those with presbyopia.
Some alternatives are available:
Full Distance Vision Correction
Full distance vision correction fixes poor distance vision in both eyes. With this corrective surgery, you would still need to use over-the-counter reading glasses for close work.
Full distance vision correction is recommended for people:
- With large amounts of farsightedness
- With amblyopia (weak/lazy eyes)
- Who tried monovision with contact lens trial and had difficulties adjusting
- Who are having difficulties adapting to vision changes
Kamra inlay is the first corneal inlay to gain FDA approval for use in vision correction. It is designed to eliminate or reduce the need for reading glasses.
Salient features of the Kamra inlay are:
- Very small and thin — just 3.8 mm in diameter and 6 microns thick.
- Positioned so the opening is directly in front of the pupil when implanted in the cornea. This creates a “pinhole camera effect,” which expands the range of clear vision.
- Near objects are brought into sharper focus while maintaining clear distance vision.
Risks associated with KAMRA Inlay include:
- Blurred vision
- Color disturbances
- Double vision
- Ghost Images
- Night vision problems
- Problems with contrast sensitivity
Post-surgery, the following may occur:
- Burning sensation
- Dryness of the eyes
- Red eyes
- Pain and discomfort
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) or lens replacement surgery is a more permanent form of vision correction. It can be a better option for people with presbyopia.
The procedure replaces your eye’s natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). This is done to correct the refractive error.
Refractive lens exchange provides several advantages. These include:
- It is typically performed on patients that are not suitable for LASIK
- It addresses both near vision and distance vision problems
- Prevention of cataracts and visual problems linked with cataracts
- It is an excellent alternative to laser eye surgery for people 40 years old and older
Common side effects of RLE include:
- Temporary eye redness
- Eye irritation
Retinal detachment and infection are rare complications.
Monovision treatment allows for clear distance and near vision without glasses. The dominant eye is corrected for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision.
Monovision may be achieved through:
- Artificial lens implants
- Contact lenses
- Refractive laser surgery
Monovision can be for people who:
- Want a glasses-free lifestyle
- Are not active in high-performance sports
- Do not engage in activities that require intricate vision
The most common complaints associated with monovision include:
- Visual fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Burning sensation in the eye
If you are not fully presbyopic and qualify for monovision laser surgery, the typical cost is between $2,200 and $3,200 per eye.
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