Laser Vision Correction after Forty.
- Posted on: Aug 20 2010
Real patient case from my practice:
A 45 year old nurse, Anna K., was referred to my practice by another New York ophthalmologist after having LASIK eye surgery at another eye center. She stated that the surgery went great but that she was still unhappy. Apparently, she was nearsighted before her LASIK surgery and couldn’t see well far, but was able to read up close without glasses. After the laser, she sees great far, doesn’t need glasses for walking, driving, or watching moves, but she now can’t read small print up close and needs reading glasses. How could this happen, she asked me.
The problem is that in people after 40 the power of Accommodation is gradually lost. So what is Accommodation? Let us pretend that our eye is like a camera with a powerful zoom lens. When we look far the lens zooms out and allows us to focus on distant objects. When we try to focus at something that’s near to us, then the lens has to zoom in and allow our eyes to focus on that near object. The closer the object the more “zooming in ” our eyes have to do. Isn’t it a wonderful mechanism that allows our eyes to do this without us even giving it a thought!
Power of Accommodation:
So, what happens after 40? The zooming in power of the lens in our eyes starts weakening. So gradually you may start noticing that it is more difficult to read smaller print and you have to keep pushing your arm further and further away. The near images and letters simply become blurred. The scientific term for it is Presbyopia. Unfortunately, all of us will have to go through this at some point in our lives. This is where nearsighted people have advantage, since their lens is too strong for their eye, they don’t need the zoom in mechanism to see up close. They still get Presbyopia, but they can still read up close by taking their glasses off. Many of my nearsighted patients can read well without glasses well into their fifties or even sixties.
Reading with Presbyopia
So, does this mean that people over 40 cannot or should not get LASEK or LASIK vision correction. Not at all!!!! Most of them are just as unhappy about having to wear glasses or contacts as before. In addition, a lot of them dislike the process of having to take their glasses off to read, so they end up needing bifocal glasses. To avoid the problem of not being able to read after LASIK, I, and some other New York ophthalmologists offer Laser Vision Correction with Monovision.
So, what is Monovision? Most of us have only one stronger, dominant eye. In LASIK/ LASEK with Monovision the dominant eye gets corrected perfectly for distance to give you that better than 20/20 vision, the other eye gets corrected to become just a touch nearsighted and will give you good near vision for many years. Most of my patients are very happy with Laser Vision Correction with Monovision and are not even aware of the difference between the two eyes. We are able to achieve such high rates of satisfaction among our patients because we use very individualized approach and offer this method only to qualified patients. We also offer contact lens trial to allow the patient to “test” or “simulate” Monovision before getting permanent LASIK or LASEK vision correction done.
Enjoy the rest of your New York Summer and summer recess!
Very truly yours,
Tagged with: 20 20 vision, astigmatism, clear vision, contacts, diamond vision, get rid of glasses, glasses, hyperopia, LASEK, laser, laser eye, LASIK, LASIK safety, myopia, near vision, presbyopia, reading glasses, safe Lasik, Vision Correction