Intraocular lenses or IOL are artificial lenses that are implanted as replacement to the eye’s natural lens when it is removed in a cataract surgery. These silicone or acrylic-made lenses come in different focusing powers, just like a normal prescription glasses or contact lenses.
The most frequently used type of IOL is a Monofocal IOL, which has one focusing distance that ranges from near, intermediate, or distance vision. A combination of Monofocal IOLs in each eye can allow for “Monovision”, where one eye focuses on distance, while the other focuses on intermediate or near range.
Monovision corrects each eye with a different prescription so one sees distances and the other sees close objects. Monovision may work for some people but not all.
Your doctor can discuss your needs and decide if this is a vision correction method worth trying.
How does monovision work?
With monovision, you choose a procedure to aid each individual eye in focussing on a different distance. Your doctor will first identify your dominant eye, before using techniques to make it suitable for looking at far/near objects.
After correction, both eyes working in unison will result in what is known as a differential blur. Your brain will start to process this visual setup normally once you get used to this correction. It will block out the blurrier items and focus on the ones that are clearer.
Since our dominant eye is the eye that sees marginally better, you’d naturally rely on it more if you could only choose to do something with one eye, such as viewing distant objects. The dominant eye is commonly corrected to see distant objects due to this reason. Your secondary eye will be adjusted to see nearby objects, such as words on a webpage or computer screen.
Monovision may develop naturally in a person. One eye may naturally be suited to see far objects better, and the other eye may be able to better focus on near objects. This can help to avoid needing vision correction when you grow older.
If you’d like to try monovision as a solution for presbyopia, consider using contact lenses for monovision first. Contacts can also be considered as a long term solution, or as a testing phase to see if monovision is suitable for you before you undergo a surgical procedure for Intra-ocular Implants.
Contact lenses for monovision come in many varieties and types. Consult your eye specialist or doctor to identify the one that is most functional in maintaining your current lifestyle and quality of life. Each of the eyes will be given a different lens to wear. Usually, the dominant eye will be used to focus on distance vision and the non-dominant eye will be given contacts suitable for near objects.
Should you find monovision unsuitable, there exists a different type of contact lenses — bifocal contact lenses. There help with both near and far vision. These specially designed lenses can help with two types of vision correction.
Sometimes, your doctor may even suggest a combination of bifocal and monovision contact lenses to allow you to clearly focus on near and far objects. It is important to communicate your experience with your chosen eye specialist or doctor in order to obtain the best results for yourself.
Having spectacles that hold only monovision lenses are rare. What is more commonly used are multi-distance types of glasses. Examples of these are bifocals and progressive lenses.
These lenses are designed with multiple focal points for vision correction. Bifocals and trifocals have a line that divides the various focal length/prescriptions on the glasses. The patient merely has to look through a different part of the lens to clearly see the required distance clearly. Progressive lenses simply have a gradient of the various prescription degrees on the lens.
LASIK Refractive Surgery
LASIK is a type of refractive surgery for your eyes that can alter and improve the way light passes through your cornea, thus better focussing the light that enters the eye onto the retina, giving you a sharper image. It is suitable for correcting vision for both near and far distances. The LASIK surgery involves adjusting the shape of your cornea with a laser to achieve better-focusing ability.
For monovision LASIK surgery, the surgeon cuts into the cornea such that your non-dominant eye will be able to better focus on near objects. The dominant eye is then adjusted to see far away.
Lasik surgery for monovision has many considerations, such as your current lifestyle, work habits and requirements, and the expectation to maintain a stable quality of life after changes in your eyes. The rate of change in your vision or progress of the magnitude of your prescription is also a consideration. Be sure to thoroughly discuss this issue with your eye specialist or doctor before undergoing LASIK surgery. If you’re a craftsman that requires detailed work up close with your hands or are in a profession that requires much reading, this may not be a suitable solution for you.
Contact lenses for monovision are a good option for trying out how monovision will impact your life before undergoing corrective refractive surgery. Consult closely with your eye specialist or eye doctor. Close observation and detailed feedback will help the eye specialist or doctor to make an informed decision on the suitability of LASIK for your needs.
Cataract Surgery & Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
As we age, the lens in our eyes can become cloudy. This situation is known as cataracts. Surgery may be recommended to rectify the situation when your the lens in your eyes become too clouded for clear vision.
This surgery simply replaces the existing lens in your eye with an artificial one, known as an intraocular lens (IOL). Apart from helping you see clearly, IOLs can also help correct any vision problems you may have had previously.
There are a variety of IOLs in the market. Some focus on 1 focal distance and are used for monovision treatments. Other IOLs can also contain various focal lengths to aid in better seeing objects at multiple ranges. Such multifocal lens may remove the need for a monovision treatment approach for your vision problems.
Tips for Adjusting to Monovision
Living with monovision does not come naturally or easily to all patients. Some may find that monovision comes naturally to them and barely experience any change in lifestyle. Others may find it hard to adjust to this new way of looking at objects. Here are a few tips to help you manage the transition to monovision more easily:
- Continue life as per normal, try not to exclude activities you would usually engage in.
- Be patient and give your brain a few weeks to get used to the new lenses in your eyes.
- Reading glasses or other glasses for near vision can help if needed
- Try out how monovision feels before committing to a surgery or permanent change to your vision
Close communication with your eye specialist or doctor is necessary for them to better help you along. Symptoms such as blurred vision or weak depth perception ability should be highlighted immediately.
Why Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre
Our team of ophthalmologists are experts in treating cataract problems. Using our modern techniques, we are here to help you achieve an improved eyesight. Want to eliminate cataracts and enhance your vision? Book a consultation with Asia Retina Eye Surgery Centre today!
Monovision is a type of vision correction your doctor may suggest if you have difficulty seeing things nearby and far away. You may find that your near vision worsens in middle age.
This condition is known as presbyopia. If you’re already nearsighted, this ageing of the eye will create the need to correct two types of vision.