Kallie Kappes OD
Though some patients may prefer to have better distance vision after cataract surgery and utilize reading glasses, we encounter many patients that prefer just the opposite.
What if I have always used glasses to see far away, but I like taking my glasses off to read?
This situation is very common in patients that have been nearsighted for many years. These patients will have a prescription to clear up their far away vision, and find it much easier to take off their glasses for reading material up close. Often times, patients in situations such as this will not need glasses for performing many tasks throughout the day, and will only rely on glasses for driving, or perhaps watching television. If this is a comfortable modality, having your vision focused similarly after cataract surgery is a very successful option, and oftentimes only requires a standard lens implant. Patients will then rely on distance glasses after surgery much like before, but not rely on reading glasses for up close activities.
I’ve heard about monovision from a friend, what is it?
Monovision can be a very successful strategy for patients who would like to be less reliant on distance AND reading glasses. For this to happen, the focus of one eye is corrected for far away, allowing clear distance vision, while the other eye is focused for improved near vision at a set distance. We often encounter patients that have utilized monovision in contact lenses and have been very successful. This allows you to have more freedom from glasses but does not mean that glasses won’t always be needed.
How will I know if I can tolerate monovision?
For patients who have been successful with monovision in the past, this generally translates favorably for monovision incorporated into cataract surgery. For patients interested in monovision with no prior experience, we are often able to coordinate a trial with contact lenses before surgery.
Are there cons with selecting monovision?
Monovision allows less reliance on glasses for patients but does not mean that glasses won’t be necessary for certain situations. In situations of night driving or long-distance driving, many patients prefer having good distance vision in both eyes, and this can be achieved with a pair of glasses or contact lenses. Monovision can also compromise depth perception more so for up close tasks, and for patients who regularly perform task that require good depth perception at close distances this is something to consider.
If I have astigmatism, how does that work with monovision?
At the time of your evaluation, measurements performed on your eyes can determine if you have an astigmatism that would be significant for your vision. For patients selecting monovision, it is optimal to have any significant astigmatism corrected with a premium lens implant, especially for the distance focused eye.