A common concern about LASIK from patients at Rosenbaum Eye and Laser Center centers around the worry that vision can change any time after LASIK. (For more LASIK focused articles, click here WEBSITE). If vision can change because of the natural aging of the eyes, what are the options for patients? Whether or not you have already had a LASIK procedure, most patients over the age of 40 develop some degree of presbyopia. In addition to age, certain health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anemia, multiple sclerosis, and extreme hyperopia can contribute to a higher risk. Presbyopia is an eye condition in which the eye slowly loses the ability to focus quickly on nearby objects.
If you currently wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses or have had traditional LASIK, and now require reading glasses, monovision LASIK or blended LASIK may be suitable options for you to help improve your vision. In traditional LASIK, both eyes are corrected to the same degree. For monovision and blended LASIK, 1 eye is corrected for distance and the other eye is corrected for near vision (monovision) or intermediate vision (blended). Monovision corrects the dominant eye for distance, or emmetropia, while leaving the other eye mildly nearsighted, also known as myopia, to see objects up close. Monovision allows the dominant eye that is used for distance vision to experience blurriness up close and the other eye that sees clearly up close will have a slightly blurred effect for distance. The significant distance can be too hard for some people to adjust to so blended LASIK would be recommended as an alternative option. Blended LASIK is a similar procedure but is considered a milder correction. Blended vision creates different focus zones within each eye allowing for a greater depth of field. Because blended vision is more of a compromise, it is easier to adapt to than monovision. Blended LASIK allows the dominant eye to see full distance along with intermediate vision and the other eye combines intermediate vision with near vision; thereby “blending” the extremes so that the brain can process the information more easily than monovision. The blended images create what is known as binocular vision, a term for vision using both eyes with overlapping fields of view allowing for strong depth perception. Both treatment options are based on a similar principle of treating both eyes for different distances through laser surgery where both rely on the eyes and the brain to work together to create 1 image. Monovision and blended LASIK can also be applied to other vision correction procedures including PRK, IOL implants, refractive lens exchange, and cataract surgery.
About 95% of patients qualify as a candidate for blended vision but only 50% will meet the requirements for monovision. Before surgery, patients can test out monovision and blended contact lenses to get a feel for how their vision will change. Both procedures will leave patients with a decrease in depth perception which will be one of the main factors in determining if either option is a benefit to the patient.
For more information, call Rosenbaum Eye and Laser Center today at 517-393-2020.