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As people age, the need for glasses, especially for nearsightedness (Myopia) becomes a necessity. This is the beginning of Presbyopia. What happens is in or around the age of 40, the crystalline lens loses its flexibility. The first sign is likely in the fine print. Our arms aren’t long enough to read the fine print. This does not, necessarily, affect distance vision.

The normal fix for presbyopia is glasses (bifocals, trifocals and reading glasses); contact lenses are a limited fix, as is LASIK surgery.

In an effort to save people from having to use glasses or contact lenses once presbyopia strikes, surgeons came up with monovision. It is a simple idea: Correct one eye for distance (the dominant eye) and one eye for nearsightedness. What it does is take the normal way in which the eyes were instructed to see – in stereo – and force them to see solo; one working for distance and one for close-range.

Monovision is not a cure but a workaround to the problem of presbyopia. Its charter is not to fix the vision problem but to make it easier for the patient, who may not want to wear bifocals for any number of reasons, including convenience and style.

Candidates for Monovision

This procedure is limited to people who have incurred presbyopia.

Pre-Op Monovision

There are no applicable differences between Monovision and LASIK, except for determining your dominant eye, for pre-op. If you wear contacts you should remove them days or weeks (depending on the contact lens) prior to the procedure. You should remove all makeup a few days earlier, too. And make sure to secure a driver to take you to and from the procedure.

Monovision Surgery – The Procedure

The difference in procedures is that during Monovision surgery, the surgeon will leave the dominant eye alone, as long as its distance vision is fine, and ensure that the non-dominant eye works for near vision. The rest of the procedure (cutting the flap and ablating the cornea) is similar to LASIK.

Monovision Surgery – Post-Op

The healing process in terms of pain, infection, inflammation and returning to a normal life is quite similar to LASIK. Where the two procedures differ, and where Monovision differs from all of LASIK’s cousins, is the patient’s visual reaction once surgery has ended. It may take the brain up to 6-8 weeks to get used to seeing solo.

One of the other complications that sets Monovision apart from LASIK is that people may find they lose depth perception.

If Monovision looks like a great idea to you, it is advisable to use Monovision contact lenses first. This way you can test out how you will adapt to the process before committing to the surgery. Most times, people adapt easily and find they are very happy, but Monovision is not for everyone.

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