Monovision - iLASIK Blended Vision
50 is the New 40! – New Ways to Reduce the Need for Readers with iLASIK Blended Vision.
As children, our ability to switch focus freely and with perfect clarity between distant and up-close objects was entirely imperceptible, but as we age, that ability diminishes and the switch in focus becomes more noticeable and more difficult.
The reason for this comes down to our natural lens' loss of elasticity; resulting in the need to wear different glasses for different focal lengths – near and far. Those that can currently see well at a distance will require glasses to assist close-up focus and vice-versa. This is called Presbyopia, a condition that becomes common once we reach about 40 years of age, usually corrected with bifocals or glasses that feature two focal lengths.
Blended vision works in a similar way, correcting one eye for close-up vision and the other for distance, removing the need for glasses altogether.
iLASIK Blended Vision is an adjustment of one eye for distance vision and the other, for near vision. This is achieved using contact lenses, laser vision correction such as iLASIK or, with implanted intraocular lenses (IOLS). Whichever method is chosen, the brain learns to see in this new way, albeit with a small compromise in visual clarity at both distances, offering the best of both worlds. Laser surgery is performed to make your non-dominant eye slightly near-sighted while the dominant eye is adjusted for distance vision. The brain then blends these two images together in a way that makes the difference in focal lengths completely indistinguishable.
The same excimer laser used in iLASIK procedures is used to make your non-dominant eye slightly near-sighted, creating a differential between the two eyes' focal lengths. Our brains tend to naturally disregard the image from whichever eye is not in focus, meaning you won't consciously be aware of which eye is receiving the distance images and which, the near. The adjustment to blended vision is generally seamless, with the brain adjusting to the new sight within a couple of weeks or months. With a marked improvement in visual acuity, most patients can throw away their reading glasses for good!
Once you have opted to receive Blended Vision, doctors will ascertain which eye is your dominant eye, to determine which of the eyes will be treated for near to intermediate vision and which will be used for distance viewing. Typically, in Blended Vision, the dominant eye is the one selected for distance.
Is it right for you?
At your consultation, your doctor will discuss with you the options for iLASIK Blended Vision. In deciding which will best suit you, consider these questions:
- In your everyday life, do you enjoy activities such as golf, which require sharp, clear distance vision?
- Do you enjoy reading for long periods of time or have a hobby that requires precise near vision?
- Do you do the bulk of your driving at night?
- Is your expectation to be completely free from glasses with a consistently clear and focused quality of vision for all distances?
- Are you younger than 40 or older than 65 years of age?
Blended vision is most suited to those who want to be as independent from glasses as possible but who are willing to accept a small compromise in their vision. If your answer was 'yes' to any of the above, Blended vision may not be suitable and you may instead be recommended for Lens Replacement Surgery to manage your presbyopia.
Before you commit to a permanent solution such as laser vision correction or lens implants, you'll be able to trial blended vision with contact lenses first, giving you a test run of the potential results of laser vision correction. You'll be fitted with one contact lens for distance and another for near vision; giving you the comfort and assuredness that moving forward with a permanent solution is going to suit you. If you find that you can't adjust comfortably, you can return to using reading glasses.
- With a marked improvement in visual acuity, most patients can throw away their reading glasses for good!
- Over 99% of short-sighted patients and 94% of long-sighted patients who have received laser blended vision are able to read standard newsprint (N8) - imagine reading the morning paper without the need for glasses!
- In traditional monovision, the difference between eyes could vary between 1.5D and 3D, whereas in iLASIK Blended Vision, the difference is reduced to up to 1.2D instead.
- As with natural eyesight, the sight we have at 45 will be different to that which we have at age 55 but with iLASIK Blended Vision, the sight we receive after surgery at 45 will still work seamlessly well beyond the age of 55.
- Standard iLASIK vision correction for patients over 40 usually results in better vision for distance but with an increased need for reading glasses to see up close. With iLASIK blended vision, mature patients can expect good results at both distances.
- Studies show that iLASIK Blended Vision is equally as safe as traditional iLASIK treatment. The procedure takes between 20-30 minutes with rapid visual recovery and very little pain post-operatively.
- Best suited for patients between the ages of 40 and 65 years old.
Possible After-Effects of Surgery
- Initially, you may encounter some dizziness or nausea as your brain adjusts to the differing depths of vision but most people automatically adjust to blended vision within a couple of weeks or months.
- As with all laser eye procedures, there are risks and side effects that will be outlined in their entirety in your information pack and pre-surgery consent forms
Laser Assessment Terms and Conditions:
Patients are eligible for the initial free laser assessment on condition that they have no history of previous eye surgery (including previous laser surgery).
The initial free laser assessment is only available to patients whom are seeking laser vision correction and is not applicable to any other treatment type.