29 Aug Monovision treatments: LASIK vs contact lenses
Monovision treatments: LASIK vs contact lenses
What is monovision?
Monovision, also known as ‘blended vision’ is an ophthalmic intervention whereby the focusing of one eye is fixed at a distance and the focus of the other eye is set for near vision. It is a key treatment for the condition presbyopia.
Presbyopia literally means ‘aging eye’ and is an age related loss of the elasticity of lens leading to a gradual onset of long-sightedness.
It is typically described in individuals over the age of 40, which is still relatively young and therefore the condition can impact working life.
Monovision therapies and treatments have been devised to relive this loss of near-sightedness and offer improved vision for reading and any other tasks that require fine focus.
Why only one eye?
Monovision treatments take advantage of the sight difference in the way we use each eye. For most individuals a dominant eye can be identified on examination. This eye is the one you see better with if both eyes are tested individually.
Monovision corrects the dominant eye for distance vision leaving the other eye to see nearer objects. The sum of this intervention is both eyes working together to provide the ability to see near objects clearly as well as those at a distance.
Does it work for everyone?
Monovision relies on an individual’s ability to adapt to this new way of seeing. Ideally the eyes provided a corrected and optimised blended vision. However this may not be comfortable for some people.
What are the key monovision treatments?
Many people with presbyopia are looking for way for liberating themselves from spectacles and eyeglasses. This is one of the key benefits of monovision treatments. Monovision can be provided by either corrective contact lenses or LASIK laser surgery for monovision.
Monovision with contact lenses vs LASIK monovision surgery
With a monovision contact lens prescription the dominant eye wears one contact lens for distance vision and the non-dominant eye wears one lens for near vision.
Both eyes working together usually provide a comfortable visual result as described above. If a patient adapts to this way of seeing, contact lenses are an accessible and cost effective correction for presbyopia. However, key side effects can include diplopia and strabismus (crossed-eyes) if the lens prescription is not tolerated.
- Cost effective
- Very accessible
- Side effects: diplopia
- Side effects: crosses eyes
Contact lenses can always be tried prior to undertaking laser eye surgery to ensure that a patient will be comfortable seeing with monovision.
LASIK patients require careful counselling about the disadvantages of the procedure and to manage expectations. Many patients who undergo LASIK will still require the use of glasses.
The loss of a need for glasses or contact lenses is one of the key advertised benefits of this procedure. The surgery will have to be carefully planned for the priority of near vision or a more blended vision. LASIK carries some noteworthy side effects that do diminish over time as an individual adapts to monovision. These include bright spots, halos, glare, blurred vision. Despite surgery, the eyes still change with time meaning further intervention may be necessary later on.
- Safe surgery
- Continuous wear
- Side effects: bright spots, halos, glare
- Side effects: blurred vision
A unique mix of expertise, experience and international reputation, Dr Ron Binetter is the figure behind the Binetter Eye Centre. With more than two decades of hands-on experience in eye surgery, Dr Binetter is a specialist in cataract, lens implantation and laser eye surgery. Learn more about Dr Ron Binetter’s background and qualifications.