Will Someone Need Reading Glasses After Lasik?

Is there anything that can be done before or during Lasik to prevent the need for reading glasses?

Doctor Answers 4

Reading glasses after LASIK

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Individuals above the age of 40 normally experience a condition known as presbyopia, in which reading glasses are often needed. To restore reading vision, one eye can be fully corrected adn the other partially corrected so that reading vision is maintained. This is known as monovision, and  although a compromise,  works quite well for many people. 

San Diego Ophthalmologist

Reading Glasses after LASIK

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There are several things that can be done during the LASIK procedure to lessen the need for reading glasses afterwards. Every patient has one eye that is more dominant than the other. The dominant eye, typically, though not always, aligns with your dominant hand(ie, right eye and right hand dominant). I almost always aim to make the dominant eye perfect in the distance. The nondominant eye can then be adjusted in such a way that the distance is 95-97% better, but it keeps a good amount of near function. I do not use the term "monovision" to describe this, because this is more a contact lens term and implies only a 70% improvement in the nondominant eye. This topic can become complex, but just know there are several ways we can treat the nondominant eye such that the need for reading glasses is lessened or eliminated. I am 53 years old and had laser vision correction in 1994 in the manner I describe above. I still hardly ever wear reading glasses!

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

His is an age related change called presbyopia

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It depends on several factors with age probably being the most important.  As the eye ages, even if they have excellent distance vision, start requiring reading glasses after 40 years of age.  This is an age related change called presbyopia.

Christopher Coad, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

Reading glasses after LASIK

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Like paying taxes, virtually everyone will need some help with near vison when they have full distance correction and are older than 45-55 years of age.  The issue is that for people who are nearsighted, they can take off their glasses and read well even beyond this age.  When the vision is corrected at distance with glasses, contacts, or LASIK there is a need for help up close.

The alternatives include having monovison which leaves one eye slightly nearsigted, wearing reading glasses, or some newer surgery options being developed to improve near vision which are not yet available.

Careful discussion with your doctor and trying monovision with contact lenses can help to make this decision.

Jon Dishler, MD, FACS
Greenwood Village Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.