Nearsighted people over 40 who are accustomed to removing their glasses for close work need to give extra thought to vision correction surgery. Because their eye gradually becomes a single-focus optical system which can view EITHER near objects OR distant objects clearly (but not both), they will probably need glasses to read if they have surgery to focus both eyes for distant objects. For some, this may be an advantage, but for others, it may not.

It is possible to correct one eye for distance and leave the other slightly nearsighted for reading. This technique, called monovision, may give presbyopes the best chance of eliminating corrective eyewear entirely. If you are in the presbyopic age range, you must determine if your goal is to achieve best vision correction for distance in both eyes or to leave one eye slightly nearsighted for reading.

If you are over 40 and a contact lens wearer, you may have already experienced monovision by wearing one contact lens that has slightly less power. With refractive surgery, you may have monovision by leaving one eye slightly nearsighted.

About a third of patients who try monovision adapt to it successfully, and the other two thirds elect to have both eyes corrected optimally for distance and wear simple "dime-store" reading glasses for near work.

If you try monovision and do not like it, your under corrected eye can be enhanced to the full correction allowing you to see clearly at a distance with both eyes.

Please discuss monovision with your doctor so that an appropriate surgical plan can be made.

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Last Updated: 07-10-2009
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