Presbyopia refers to a condition when the ability of the eyes to view things clearly and up close slowly diminishes. It is quite common for aging individuals to acquire presbyopia. In Greek, “presbyopia” is a word indicating “old vision”. Patients usually start noticing presbyopia symptoms between the ages of 42 and 47. For instance, they might need to keep books and papers a little farther away so that they can read the text clearly. Later, as the problem progresses, reading glasses become a necessity to see clearly up close.
Presbyopia Treatment with iLASIK
There are numerous treatment options for presbyopia, including surgical and non-surgical methods. However, some cases are best managed when both types of methods are combined together. One of the most widely used treatment solutions for presbyopia is reading glasses and LASIK. Presbyopia usually does not spare you from wearing reading glasses, even after LASIK surgery. But patients have reported tremendous improvement in vision with this combination of reading glasses and LASIK. Both monovision iLASIK and multifocal LASIK are used by doctors for treating presbyopia. In monovision LASIK, one eye is corrected for the distance vision while the other left for close or near vision. It is common to come across patients who aren’t very comfortable with monovision LASIK and hence opt for the more advanced LASIK options such as the multifocal LASIK. In this type of LASIK, a laser is used for creating several distinct treatment zones or regions. This renders both eyes capable of far, intermediate and near vision. This form of LASIK is still under investigation in the U.S.
Other Treatment Combinations
Another widely used combination treatment for presbyopia is LASIK and single contact lenses. This is an ideal option for parties and social events because you need a decent distance and near vision and don’t wish to carry a pair of reading glasses for near vision. Several doctors also combine LASIK and wavefront eyeglasses to correct presbyopia. For those who struggle with halos or nighttime glare post iLASIK, the latest lens technology of ‘wavefront lenses’ might be the perfect option. The lenses make use of your computerized eye measurements for detecting optical imperfections, also termed as HOAs or higher-order aberrations. A combination of different surgical procedures might be the best solution for correcting presbyopia in certain cases. For instance, you might have undergone a LASIK surgery when you were 30, and notice that the close/near vision has started to deteriorate in your 40s. In such a case, LASIK or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) on a single eye may help improve your vision. Another option to consider, especially for patients in their 50's is ReLEx surgery, where the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with special lens implants to give back the ability to see all distances.