What is presbyopia?
Presbyopia is caused when the lens of the eye ages and becomes less flexible. It affects all of us to varying degrees, and usually when we reach 40 years and over.
As we all get older, our vision changes. In our 40s and 50s the muscles of the eye weaken, and the lens becomes denser and more resistant to changing shape. The result is that our eyes lose their ability to easily see up close as well as we did when we were younger. This is known as presbyopia and is the reason why at this age many people begin to need reading glasses. This process will occur earlier for longsighted people.
The good news is that permanent solutions for visual limitations due to presbyopia are available with both surgery and laser so that you will never need reading glasses again. Dr LaHood is experienced in providing these and can recommend a course of action for your eyes.
For more information on your potential options read below.
Laser Monovision (blended vision)
Using laser vision correction techniques, the focus of each eye can be made to whatever we want. One option is to make one eye good for distance vision and the other good for near vision. This is called monovision or blended vision. The brain gets used to this very rapidly and most people very quickly do not even realise you are only using one eye at a time. If your eyes are healthy with minimal cataract this can be an excellent option, and for many people means only having laser treatment to one eye and is a fast, minimally invasive and effective way to fix presbyopia. If you and/or Ben are concerned about whether your brain will tolerate this monovision option, a contact lens trial can be organised with your optometrist prior to laser treatment which simulates the surgical outcome providing peace of mind before having the procedure.
Lens surgery monovision
Similar to above, one eye is made better for distance and the other better for near vision. The difference is that instead of changing the shape of the cornea, Dr LaHood will remove your lens as with cataract surgery and replace it with a personalised IOL to suit your needs. The benefit of this is that the surgery is permanent so you will not need to go on and have cataract surgery when you get older. Again, a contact lens trial can be helpful to determine if you like this option although sometimes in the presence of cataract it can be tricky to tell due to the cataract impairing the quality of your vision. This is something that you can discuss at your consultation.
The trifocal IOL can also be used to overcome presbyopia permanently. A trifocal IOL provides three focal points and is a preferred treatment and regularly used by Dr LaHood. If you want everything for your vision, this may be the best option for you. It gives good distance, intermediate and near vision meaning that you should not need glasses for any task including reading. The trade off is that you will initially experience glare and halos especially at night that will reduce over the first month. Maximum benefit is gained with this IOL in both eyes but one eye can be implanted as a mixture.