What Is Presbyopia?
At some point in our lives, we start holding newspapers, menus and cell phones at arm’s length in an effort to see small print more clearly. You may begin to notice changes in your early 40’s or you may not be troubled until your early 60’s, but at some point everyone begins to lose the ability to see clearly at close distance. This naturally occurring loss of near vision is called Presbyopia, and it is a result of the eye’s lens becoming more rigid.
So, Does LASIK cure Presbyopia?
While LASIK is highly effective for typical farsightedness (hyperopia), nearsightedness (myopia), or astigmatism, it may not be the best choice for people experiencing age related farsightedness due to presbyopia. LASIK only corrects for vision at one distance, but patients with presbyopia may need correction for both near and far vision. LASIK corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. However, the loss of near vision from presbyopia is a result of loss of flexibility and elasticity of the lens of the eye, and LASIK cannot prevent the natural aging process of the lens. LASIK can provide distance and correction for some near tasks by utilizing a monovision treatment. This procedure corrects your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant eye with some near vision ability. You can undergo a contact lens trial that will show you if monovision would work for you.
How Can I Treat Presbyopia?
Reading glasses are a common solution for presbyopia, but they can be a hassle. People who rely on them get frustrated by misplacing them and having to take them on and off while working. Some people don’t like the look of reading glasses and avoid them for cosmetic reasons. If you have an active lifestyle, or are concerned with maintaining a youthful appearance, then you may want to consider other treatment options for presbyopia. At Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute we offer a wide range of reading vision solutions and we are committed to working with each patient to find the treatment option that is best for their needs and lifestyle.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) can be an effective solution for presbyopia, while also treating pre existing nearsightedness or farsightedness and preventing cataracts. In the RLE procedure, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens implant (IOL) that is customized to fit the measurements and vision needs of each patient. RLE is able to address a wider range of nearsightedness and farsightedness than LASIK, and it may be an option for people who have been told they are not candidates for LASIK or PRK. Patients who have undergone RLE have a 96% satisfaction rate, with more than 80% reporting that they have completely eliminated glasses from their lives 1. The experienced surgeons at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute offer advanced intraocular lens implants (IOLs) including multifocal, depth of focus and accommodating IOLs to treat presbyopia, and toric lenses to address astigmatism. Patients who are seeking a permanent solution to greatly reduce or eliminate their need for corrective eyewear, including patients who lead active and busy lives, may want to learn more about RLE.
Patients who never needed vision correction prior to presbyopia may find reading glasses to be especially frustrating. Corneal inlays can reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses so you don’t have to worry about “cheaters” or “granny glasses” ruining your day or your look. Raindrop® Near Vision Inlay is an FDA approved corneal inlay that is placed in one eye during a 10 minute procedure and has been proven to lead to significantly improved near and intermediate vision in subjects with presbyopia. This procedure is ideal for people who did not experience vision issues prior to age related near vision loss. Another corneal inlay is KAMRA™, which can enable you to see near objects more clearly while retaining distance vision in both of your eyes. Fun fact – the surgeons at GSNVI were original clinical investigators for KAMRA™!
If you were considering LASIK, but have realized that presbyopia may be affecting your vision, you have options. The surgeons at Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute are considered pioneers and leaders in vision correction techniques. Learn more about the array of options we provide to treat presbyopia and contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss which treatment may be best for you.
1 Journal of Ophthalmology Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 458296, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/458296
2 ARVO journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS) (Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016; 57(9):OCT154-OCT161. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-18858)