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Can LASIK Eye Surgery Cure Me of Reading Glasses?

Does Lasik Cure Presbyopia?

LASIK surgery has become a popular solution when it comes to correcting astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. LASIK’s goal is to reduce the need for contact lenses and glasses for the majority of your day. People who are over 40 years old might wonder if LASIK can also alleviate their need for reading glasses. But before we talk about whether LASIK surgery can help you with getting out of reading glasses, let’s lay down the basics so we’re all on the same page.

But before we talk about whether LASIK surgery can help you with getting out of reading glasses, let’s lay down the basics so we’re all on the same page.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia occurs when the lens becomes stiff and more rigid, which prevents it from helping you focus up close. There is a lens inside your eye (behind the colored part of the eye) that bends and flexes to provide you with the flexibility to focus up close at different near distances quickly and easily.

When presbyopia happens, everyday tasks like looking at your texts, reading a book, and looking at prices in a store become challenging. You feel like your arms aren’t long enough for what you’re reading to become apparent. The good news is, there are many ways to cope with presbyopia.

What Is LASIK Surgery?

LASIK is a popular surgery used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The cornea (front part of the eye) is reshaped using a special laser (excimer laser) so that it eliminates the need for eyeglasses throughout the majority of your day.

Can LASIK Help Me With Presbyopia?

LASIK surgery has a high success rate of helping to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, it does not totally eliminate the need for glasses, especially when it comes to presbyopia. LASIK only reshapes the cornea but does nothing to help the lens regain its flexibility when it comes to focusing up close.

Getting Rid of Reading Glasses With LASIK

The most common way to use LASIK to help with presbyopia is the use of a technique called monovision – the LASIK surgeon fully corrects the dominant eye for distance and leaves the non-dominant eye fixed for near vision. This eliminates the need for reading glasses since one eye is geared for seeing near exclusively. Unfortunately, this option only works for people who are naturally nearsighted – the rest of us may still need reading glasses, with or without LASIK.

Also, if you are considering this option, it would be prudent to try monovision using contact lenses for at least a month to make sure you can adapt to this new way of seeing. Not everyone can do this since it can be quite disorienting. The brain has to ignore the input from one eye, depending on the activity at the moment. For example, if you are driving a car, your mind has to pay attention to the distance eye and ignore the reading eye. And vice versa for your near activities, like reading.

In this case, your depth perception is also altered, since it takes both eyes to focus on the same thing to have depth perception. Depth perception is important because you need it to gauge the distance of objects, from parking your car to grabbing your coffee mug off the table.

The changes to the cornea by LASIK are not guaranteed to last. It is quite common for your vision to change over months to years, after the surgery.

LASIK surgery is prevalent when it comes to correcting your distance vision from nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism but is still not widely used for correcting presbyopia.

For those people in their 20’s and 30’s, LASIK can give them the freedom of seeing without the need for glasses or contact lenses for the majority of their day.

However, for people after the ’40s, there is a very good chance that they may still need reading glasses to help them to see up close in the long run.

 

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