Updated on 

May 6, 2022

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LASIK for Presbyopia (Age-Related Farsightedness)

Can LASIK Fix Presbyopia?

LASIK is a popular laser vision correction procedure that fixes refractive errors like: 

Thinking about LASIK? Start a conversation with an experienced Patient Counselor to find out if laser eye surgery is right for you. Learn More

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.

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
  • Bifocals
  • Contact lenses
  • Surgery

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. 

Questions about LASIK? Call NVISION to speak with an experienced Patient Counselor who can answer all your questions and set up a free consultation. No commitment required.

LASIK Surgeon Using Laser

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

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
  • Halos
  • Glare
  • Ghost Images
  • Night vision problems
  • Problems with contrast sensitivity

Post-surgery, the following may occur:

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:

  • Halos
  • Glare
  • Temporary eye redness
  • Eye irritation

Retinal detachment and infection are rare complications.

Monovision

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
  • Flare
  • Glare
  • 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.

Still not sure about LASIK? Talk with an experienced Patient Counselor at NVISION to find out if it's right for you.

Surgeon performing LASIK Procedure
8 Cited Research Articles
  1. "Presbyopia." American Optometric Association.
  2. "LASIK." U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 
  3. Dhaliwal, D. "Updates and Challenges in Refractive Lens Exchange." US Ophthalmic Review. Jan 2018.
  4. Ghanem, R et al. “LASIK in the presbyopic age group: safety, efficacy, and predictability in 40- to 69-year-old patients.” Ophthalmology vol. 114,7 : 1303-10
  5. Wilkinson, J et al. "Refractive Eye Surgery: Helping Patients Make Informed Decisions About LASIK." American Academy of Family Physicians. 15 May 2017.
  6. "The Option of Monovision." Stanford Health Care.
  7. Laser Surgery Can Improve Vision Problems." University of Rochester Medical Center.
  8. Vision Correction Surgery.” Cleveland Clinic.
Melody Huang is an optometrist and freelance health writer. Through her writing, Dr. Huang enjoys educating patients on how to lead healthier and happier lives. She also has an interest in Eastern medicine practices and learning about integrative medicine. When she’s not working, Dr. Huang loves reviewing new skin care products, trying interesting food recipes, or hanging with her adopted cats.
https://www.visioncenter.org/author/emjay/
Author: emjay  | UPDATED May 6, 2022
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Medical reviewer: Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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Dr. Melody Huang, O.D.
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The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.

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