Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Laser Eye Surgery Question: I am very nearsighted-around –7.00 D. I work as an administrative assistant in an office and now that I am 42 years old my reading vision is starting to get blurry. My optometrist said I should just wear readers or reading glasses or half glasses over my contact lenses. Can I have LASIK instead and not have to wear the readers-I don’t want to.

Besides being very nearsighted, you are describing the onset of presbyopia-a condition whereby the crystalline lens inside your eye that is typically soft and flexible begins to lose that flexibility and thus limit your ability to change focus from far to near and near to far. Patients with presbyopia typically report that their “arms are too short” and that near objects and reading material are becoming fuzzy or blurry.

LASIK-which is mainly a type of laser eye surgery for correcting distance vision, does have some application in correcting near vision through a technique called monovision LASIK.  Monovision corrects one eye for distance and one eye for near. Thus, the need for glasses with two different focal lengths is resolved by focusing each eye at a different focal length. Monovision LASIK can be effective for some patients with the need for mild near vision correction. Depending on the amount of close work you do at work and for how long each day, monovision LASIK may be a good alternative. One way to get a sense of how you will do with monovision LASIK is to mimic the effect with a temprary pair of contact lenses. Since you are already wearing contacts this shouldn’t be a problem to try at work and at home. It is probably best if you find a LASIK surgeon to fully evaluate you for LASIK with a consultation and he or she can then do the monovision trail with you as well. The simple answer to the question “Can I have LASIK if I am starting to need reading glasses?” can be best answered by finding an experienced laser eye surgeon who will take the time necessary to evaluate you properly and guide you through the right decisions in selecting the best type of laser eye surgery and whether monovison LASIK is a good choice for you.

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