Presbyopia Correction: Monovision
Presbyopia (a common age-related condition in which the eye loses its ability to focus on close objects) can be surgically addressed in several ways. One strategy is to produce a condition known as “monovision.”
In normal vision (binocular vision), both eyes work together to focus on objects that are very close, far away, and in between. In monovision, the eyes are adjusted so that the dominant eye works best for distance vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. Most people can adjust to monovision, but if you’re considering monovision surgery, it’s a good idea to first try contact lenses that temporarily produce the condition.
Two methods for surgically creating monovision
- LASIK Monovision
A LASIK surgeon who is correcting myopia (nearsightedness) in a person who also has presbyopia will deliberately leave the non-dominant eye slightly myopic so it can be used for near vision.
LASIK can also be performed on eyes that have no refractive error (myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism), but have developed presbyopia. The dominant eye is left as is for distance vision and the other is corrected for near vision.
- Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
CK is a minimally invasive surgical technique that uses controlled, low-level radio waves to shrink the collagen (fibrous protein) around the cornea. This lengthens the eyeball to reduce hyperopia (farsightedness). The FDA has approved CK for temporary reduction of hyperopia and for temporary improvement of near vision in presbyopia patients.
A one-year follow-up of the clinical trials showed that all CK patients experienced some improvement in near vision. Almost all (98%) could read newspaper-sized print in the treated eye, and 87% had 20/20 distance vision and also could read phonebook-sized print. No patient reported any serious after-effects.
CK is fast (the actual procedure takes about three minutes), minimally invasive, and poses a low risk of problems. Possible after-effects are temporary and include tearing, vision fluctuation, and the feeling that a foreign particle is in the eye.
If you are interested in learning more about presbyopia treatments, be sure to contact an experienced LASIK surgeon such as Dr. Buckley of the Buckley Vision Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.