Monovision addresses the problem of presbyopia that most people
start to encounter when they begin to need reading glasses or bifocals
for close vision. With monovision,
the dominant eye (the eye you would use to focus a camera) is focused for distance vision, and the non-dominant
eye is focused for near to intermediate vision. This can be done with contact lenses, refractive surgery or intraocular lenses.
The brain typically adjusts to monovision within a couple of
weeks or months, as it learns to filter out the image from whichever
eye is not in clear focus. In our experience, patients who try monovision
and take the time to become fully accustomed to it, like it and find
it very useful. They are often able to see well enough at any distance
without corrective lenses, regardless of their age.
Monovision can be achieved with contact lenses or with LASIK.
If you are considering monovision, Dr. Seibel can put you into monovision
contact lenses first, so you can try it before you permanently correct
your eyes with LASIK.
The chief advantage of monovision is the freedom it provides
from reading glasses. Usually, after six to eight weeks (often sooner)
the brain adjusts and differentiates automatically, making it possible
to have the full range of focus without corrective lenses.
If a person has less than two diopters of myopia (distance vision
of approximately 20/100 or better), one eye can be corrected
to provide good distance vision, and the other eye can be left
uncorrected primarily for good near vision.
People with greater amounts of myopia may have their dominant
eye corrected for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye under-corrected
to provide better near vision.
It is surprising how many patients adapt readily and happily
to this vision option. Should you initially choose monovision
and subsequently become unhappy with it, enhancement surgery
to fully correct the under corrected eye is an option.
Monovision isn't appropriate for everyone. However, when
paired with the right person, it can be a great fit. Monovision
is a blend of near and distance vision, and therefore may be
a compromise between the two. It is ideal for people with an
active lifestyle who don't want the bother of wearing glasses.
Sometimes, because of depth perception difficulties, not everyone
can successfully adjust to monovision. And, even successful monovision
patients may require glasses for specific visual tasks, such
as for driving at night or for detailed near work requiring precise
It is important to note that presbyopia progresses as we age.
If the amount of presbyopia progresses beyond the degree of myopia
in the eye corrected for reading, then reading glasses would
become necessary at that time.
When helping you to decide whether monovision is right for you,
Dr. Seibel may ask these questions:
- Do you engage activities that require sharp distance vision?
Do you read for long stretches or have a hobby that requires
precise near vision?
Do you drive extensively at night?
Are you very discriminating about the quality of your vision and willing to put
up with glasses in order to achieve it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, monovision may not be the best
choice for you. Monovision is ideal for those who are willing to accept a bit
of a compromise
in order to be as independent from glasses as possible.