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Presbyopia: It happens to everyone over 45 years old (give or take a couple years).


There’s a moving part in our eye called the crystalline lens. The lens is clear, about the shape of an M&M candy, and sits behind the colored part of our eye (the iris). Our lens flexes when we change focus from distant objects to near objects. In our mid-40s, this lens decreases in flexibility to the point that we have increasing difficulty seeing near objects. When this happens, glasses with bifocals help us focus on near objects, such as a book or computer.


While there is no current technology that can restore this flexibility, we will demonstrate an option called monovision, which can help us see both distant and near objects without reading glasses. This is a great way to be able to see without readers. With monovision, one eye (usually your dominant eye) focuses far away, and the other focuses up close. We will demonstrate this for you during your exam, and you can try it with contacts, too. It is not an option for everyone, but for many people it is a convenient way to see near and far without dependence on glasses. There is usually a period of adjustment, and if you decide it doesn’t suit you, the procedure can often be reversed for distance vision. We’ll discuss this important option with you in detail during your exam.


As with all conditions that come with age, presbyopia develops gradually with signs and symptoms getting worse with time. You might find yourself wondering, “When did everything get so small?” But the truth is these changes in your eye have been happening since your youth. 

At the age of 40+ you’ll start to notice: 

  • You need to brighten your screen or increase lighting levels when reading. 
  • Blurry vision at a reading distance that used to be normal. 
  • You tend to hold your phone screen, book, and other reading materials at arm’s length.
  • Reading things from farther away makes the letters clearer. 
  • Your eyes get increasingly tired or sore from intense use, such as when you have driven long distances or used your computer or phone for long periods. 
  • You experience mild or sharp headaches after reading close-up and doing work up-close. 

These symptoms tend to be more acute when you are tired or in places with dim lighting such as a darker room, or even at dusk or nighttime. Since presbyopia worsens with age, it also complicates other refractive vision conditions like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. At the same time, having any of these conditions is one of the risk factors for getting premature presbyopia. 


It’s possible for the eyes to develop monovision naturally, where one eye already sees better up close. This can help a person avoid or delay using other types of monovision correction when they do develop presbyopia. However, most people find they need presbyopia correction interventions—approximately 9.6 million people in the United States.  These include: 





Monovision glasses have different lenses on each side, with one lens correcting for long-distance and vice versa on the non-dominant lens. However, most eye doctors avoid prescribing monovision eyeglasses because the thickness needed for the two lenses can be significantly different, resulting in considerably unequal magnification effects. This can cause discomfort for wearers. As a result, the more popular types of monovision correction glasses used are bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses. 


Contact lenses are some of the most popular methods people use for monovision. This is because they are less invasive and do not cause the discomfort of different magnification as glasses do. They are also commonly used to try out the effect of monovision to determine if patients would like to undergo LASIK for presbyopia

If you also suffer from nearsightedness or farsightedness, bifocal contact lenses can be used to help the condition as they are created with two types of vision correction in one lens. 


LASIK surgery for presbyopia is a procedure that involves the use of a laser to correct your vision for both near and farsightedness. Unlike other LASIK procedures, monovision LASIK involves using the laser to adjust the corneas to different shapes: The cornea in the nondominant eye is adjusted to see up close, while the one in the dominant eye is corrected to see far away. 

LASIK presbyopia surgery is a favorable option for most as it eliminates the need to use glasses and contact lenses, which can be inconvenient and even unsafe. However, most doctors recommend patients try monovision contact lenses and bifocal glasses before undergoing presbyopia surgery to see whether they can adjust to monovision vision correction. 


Many people are skeptical about presbyopia surgery, but the truth is modern technology has enabled LASIK for reading, driving, and other everyday uses to not only be effective but safe too. Millions of patients have used LASIK monovision correction for presbyopic or pre-presbyopic refractive surgery.

Until recently, the only way of using laser technology to correct presbyopia was in refractive lens exchange or lens refractive surgery, where an ophthalmologist would replace your eye's clear natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct the refractive error and achieve sharper focus. While this is effective at reducing the need for reading glasses or bifocals, these types of procedures are invasive and thus not as safe as laser surgery for presbyopia. This also means the recovery period is much longer.

The main consideration with presbyopia surgery is often the adaptation time after the procedure. Healing time is usually short, but it may take a few weeks up to a few months for the brain to adjust to monovision. It may be strange for the patients at first, but it works quite well for most. However, one of the main advantages of the procedure is that it is reversible, but at SharpeVision, we rarely need to perform a reversal.

Additionally, monovision LASIK is customizable according to your needs: Your doctor can reduce the near vision correction according to your lifestyle if you find the standard monovision challenging. You can even do a touch-up in the future if your vision changes.



There’s no need to go through life with bad vision. Our goal is to help our patients realize their full human potential. SharpeVision transforms your eyesight, allowing you to live a higher-quality life. Led by one of the top LASIK surgeons in the world, Dr. Sharpe, you can trust this LASIK vision center to deliver the results you need. 

SharpeVision has offices in Austin, Chicago, and Seattle, ready to offer custom All-Laser LASIK paired with the most modern technology and techniques to enhance your vision and your life. Each of our boutique clinics is doctor-owned and run, with patient-focused care at the heart of all we do. 

Best of all, we have a price-match guarantee. If you happen to get a lower presbyopia surgery cost quote somewhere else, we will match the price for service—just bring in your paperwork. We also offer a LASIK cost calculator that can help you better understand our pricing and offerings. 

There is no way to reverse presbyopia, but monovision is an option to get back the best of both worlds! You can have good distance and near vision again, and we’ll demonstrate this for you at your free comprehensive exam. Book your appointment today to get started!