Is is possible to do LASIK for reading? That is a question that our Smithtown and Riverhead board certified LASIK experts are asked every day. Before we answer that question, we really have to define the types of visual blur and how they affect your vision over your life
Nearsighted or myopic patients are able to see near and not able to see far. Patients with myopia wear glasses for distance vision starting at a relatively young age in most cases. This is the vast majority of LASIK corrections being done and patients generally do well. Under the age of 45, most patients are able to see far and near after LASIK for nearsightedness. Over the age of 45, if you see well in the distance, you generally start to need reading glasses. So that includes patients that have been corrected for distance with laser eye surgery and patients that have great distance vision and have never had LASIK. Presbyopia affects us all at some point in our lives. One way that patients can retain near vision correction is with monovision. Monovision is when the dominant eye is corrected for distance and the nondominant eye is corrected for near. That way, there is a blended vision result with one eye seeing far and one eye seeing near.
Farsighted patients do not wear glasses for most of their lives before a certain age, lets say 35. As a farsighted patient approaches 40, they start to feel a need for reading glasses and in the next few years after that, they often need glasses for distance as well. At North Shore Eye Care in Long Island, we see many 50 year olds that are very unhappy with bifocals because they never needed glasses in the past. With farsighted patients over the age of bifocal need, our board certified eye surgeons are able to correct vision for distance and then these patients wear reading glasses or they can also have monovision so that they can see far an near. Some patients do not want monovision because patients do give up a degree of stereo vision or depth perception when using only one eye for distance or near.
Patients with astigmatism have blurred vision at far and near. Astigmatism means that an eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball. When the eye shape is oblong, there will be a blurred image at far and near. Patients with astigmatism can also enjoy the benefit of laser vision correction. Again, following the age of presbyopia, roughly 45 years of age, there will still be a need for reading glasses if both eyes are corrected for distance after presbyopia sets in. Of course, monovision is always an option.
We hope that this explanation of laser eye surgery has been helpful. Please feel free to contact one of our board certified eye surgeons to help you with any other questions you may have.