Author: Dr Val Phua MBBS, MMed (Ophth), FRCOphth, FAMS
Photo by: Hiep Duong
We work hard to provide for our family. We work hard so they can have a better life. We work hard so our children have a brighter future. We work hard so we won’t have to worry about finances when we retire. Many of us put in crazy number of hours each week and for some stepping out when the sky is bright is a rare event, let alone taking time off for a “cosmetic” surgery like LASIK. You may feel like you have missed the boat of opportunity to be glasses free but that is a myth and here is why.
As you enter into your 40s, you may start to notice some difficulty reading. That is a common experience with presbyopia and while some are happy to add on those reading glasses or use progressive glasses, it also heralds a new opportunity to address your short-sightedness, long-sightedness, astigmatism as well as this reading difficulty at the same time.
An option that is gaining in popularity is that of monovision. The concept is simple and the results are impressive. One eye is corrected for distance vision and the other for near work. While it may sound strange at first, those who have opted for this are often satisfied with good vision for both distance and near, without reading glasses. Sounds too good to be true? It is. There are some compromises that come with it. The eye that is corrected for near work will view objects at the distance with less than perfect vision and there may also be a slight decrease in depth perception. This may not be suited for those who demand the clearest, sharpest vision for both distance and near work but for those who prioritise convenience and are willing to accept the small compromise, this option works like a charm. During the consultation with your doctor, a contact lens trial can often be tried to simulate monovision for a period and you can have first hand experience to see if this concept works for you. The beauty of it is that during this trial, the amount of correction can be tailored until you are completely satisfied before deciding to make it more permanent with laser vision correction.
In addition to monovision laser correction, the presence of cataracts opens a myriad of options with many different types of intraocular lenses which are able to address this need for reading glasses. This is an extensive topic for another time. For now, look beyond the reading glasses and consider monovision laser correction, it might just work perfectly for you.