Monovision is a term used to describe the vision when one eye (usually the dominant eye) is able to see well at long distances and the other eye is able to see relatively better close-up because it is nearsighted. Some patients naturally have monovision where one eye has no prescription and the other eye is nearsighted. Other nearsighted patients will fully correct only one eye to allow the other eye to see better at near distances.
Nearsighted (myopic) patients usually see better close up than at distance. Farsighted (hyperopic) patients see better at distance than close up, but all distances may be blurry. Patients with astigmatism may be blurry at any distance. Presbyopic patients are over the age of 40, and usually require reading glasses or bifocals for near vision. Monovision LASIK Surgery may be an option for all of these patients.
During monovision LASIK surgery, nearsighted patients will only receive full correction on their dominant eye and partial correct their nondominant eye so that the nondominant eye remains slightly nearsighted to aid with near vision. In some cases where the preoperative prescription is appropriate, no correction is needed at all for the nondominant (near) eye. In this case only the dominant eye is corrected for distance.
Regardless of age, most patients prefer to have both eyes corrected for distance, as this provides the best quality of distance vision and stereoacuity. Stereoacuity (the ability to perceive three dimensional spatial relationships in our vision) may be adversely affected by monovision as the two eyes are not in focus together. Pilots, professional drivers, golfers, tennis players and skiers are usually better off when they have both eyes corrected for distance. Some monovision patients may find it more difficult to judge distances, or descend curbs or stairs.
For the right patient, monovision can be an option to consider. If you are older than 45, would prefer the clearest possible distance vision, and would not mind wearing reading glasses, we recommend correcting both eyes for distance; we would not recommend monovision LASIK surgery. But if you are over age 45 and you would not mind trading some distance clarity in exchange for a lessened dependence on reading glasses, monovision LASIK surgery might be an option for you.
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