LASIK is a procedure to correct patients’ distance vision for those in the 40 to 60 age range, but it can not totally correct for presbyopia, the need for reading glasses that occurs after age 40. If you have LASIK as a younger person and have the ability to see near and far without glasses, you still will develop presbyopia. Typically Presbyopia is the inability of the eye to focus at near and intermediate distances, usually first noticed when trying to read fine print.
There are varying theories about what causes presbyopia. Most believe the lack of flexibility of the eye's lens contributes to the condition. Other theories suggest that presbyopia could also be related to continued growth of the lens or lack of strength in the muscles that change the shape of the lens for near focusing.
Previously the usual solution for presbyopia was to wear reading glasses or special lifestyle lenses (bifocal or progressive). Today surgical alternatives for presbyopia are available for qualified patients.
Monovision and LASIK
LASIK can achieve a surgical correction for presbyopia with what is known as "monovision". Normally, both your eyes work together when you look at an object, to produce what's called binocular vision. In monovision, one eye is used for distance vision and the other eye is used for near or intermediate vision. The brain usually adapts to the difference in focusing of the eyes and the patient is able to use each eye for different viewing distances. If one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other for near vision, the brain will select the distance eye to do most of the work when looking at objects in the distance, and select the near vision eye to do most of the work when looking at close objects.
LASIK can only produce monovision in presbyopic patients by purposely leaving one eye slightly nearsighted so that patients can see up close without glasses. The other eye is corrected or used as a distance eye (usually the dominant or eye that is used for sighting).
Monovision is not a perfect system because not everyone can become accustomed to the loss of binocular vision. Night driving, depth perception, and some distance or close reading vision may be compromised. It's better to try monovision with contact lenses or trial lenses first to be sure you can adapt.
The Katzen Eye Care strongly advises each potential Palm Beach / Jupiter LASIK monovision patient to experience it by trying trial lenses before proceeding with surgery.
Artificial Lenses (Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE)
One currently available option for presbyopia correction involves removing the eye's natural lens and inserting an artificial one in a procedure identical to cataract surgery. The surgical procedure, known as refractive lens exchange (RLE) or clear lens extraction, is becoming more popular because of the recent availability of accommodating artificial lenses capable of correcting presbyopia. This procedure is permanent and can give the patient the greatest options for correcting distance and near vision. These lenses can achieve monovision or distance and near vision with each eye (binocular vision).
For more information, please contact our office or call 1-877-736-2020.
The Implantable Contact Lens or ICL
The Visian ICL will offer another option far those seeking reduced dependence on glasses and contact lenses. In addition, the ICL will provide many, who are not candidates for LASIK or those patients who do not wish to have LASIK, a way to achieve this goal. However, this implant Can Not solve presbyopia, the need for reading glasses.
The best candidates for the Visian ICL are between the ages of 21 and 45, with moderate to severe nearsightedness. It is best if the candidate has not had any previous ophthalmic surgery and does not have a history of ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma, iritis or diabetic retinopathy.
The STAAR ICL, marketed under the brand name Visian ICL, is a refractive lens also known as a phakic IOL. "Phakic" meaning that the natural lens of the eye is not removed during the procedure. Instead, the natural lens is left in place. IOL means intraocular lens, or a lens inside the eye. The ICL is a posterior chamber implant that is situated behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. The ICL is considered an alternative to corneal refractive surgery such as LASIK.
The ICL surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that the patient has surgery and leaves the same day.
ICLs are intended to remain in place without maintenance. If it becomes necessary, for any reason, they can be easily removed.
For more information about this exciting procedure, contact our office.
If you would like to learn which refractive eye surgery procedure is the best for you, contact the offices of Dr. Lawrence Katzen today. Schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lawrence Katzen, Dr. Michael Weiskopf, Dr. Elizabeth Oteiza, or Dr. Debra McCracken for a thorough evaluation of your refractive errors and treatment options.