How does monovision laser eye surgery work?

14 January 2021

Author: Kate Green

monovision laser eye surgery

Why do we need reading glasses?


At Optimax, most of the laser eye surgery procedures we perform are for patients with myopia (short-sightedness) or hyperopia (long-sightedness). While the results of these surgeries are usually permanent (unless the patient’s visual requirements change over the subsequent years), one thing that laser eye surgery cannot do is prevent the need for reading glasses later in life. For lots of laser eye surgery patients, picking up a pair of reading glasses from the pound shop, after enjoying a couple of decades of glasses free vision, is no problem but – understandably – some patients want to ditch the glasses altogether.


Reading glasses are needed by almost everyone when they reach middle age, regardless of whether they have had laser eye surgery. Age related changes occur within the eye, making the lens harder and less elastic. This condition is called presbyopia. This means that the muscles in your eye are no longer able to flex the lens as effectively, resulting in the eye being unable to focus clearly on objects close up. Reading glasses act as a magnifying glass and are particularly useful for reading small print such as a newspaper, or for looking at something in a close visual range.


The option of lens surgery is available for older patients, and is particularly beneficial as you reach your 50s and 60s, as it prevents cataracts from forming at a later date. There are different lens options to choose between for lens surgery and, if you opt for a multifocal lens, you can remove the need for reading glasses, while also eliminating the need for your prescription glasses. Some patients, however, aren’t suitable for lens surgery or would simply rather opt for laser eye surgery, which is where monovision laser treatment comes in.


How can monovision laser eye surgery help?


Monovision is where one eye is corrected for near vision and the other for far distances. Both of your eyes learn to balance each other out, and the brain automatically relies on the relevant eye to cover its respective visual range. This method is already fairly popular with contact lens wearers, with lots of people choosing to wear an underpowered contact lens in one eye, to create the same effect as monovision laser correction. Your non-dominant eye is the eye which we leave short-sighted, while your dominant eye is the one which you will use for distance vision.


Monovision isn’t, however, suitable for all as not everyone can adjust to each eye working on independent distances. Therefore, following your initial consultation at Optimax, we can offer a trial with contact lenses to mimic the final results, allowing you to see if monovision treatment is something that could work for you.


The founder and chairman of Optimax, Russell Ambrose was actually the first Optimax patient to have laser eye surgery back in 1991. Almost 25 years later, in order to eliminate the need for reading glasses, Russell had monovision treatment and is still enjoying life completely glasses-free!


If you’d like to hear more about monovision – whether that’s through laser eye surgery, or a refractive lens exchange – please do get in touch with us. You can give us a quick call on 0800 093 1110, or email us at for further information. We’re more than happy to discuss different treatment options with you, and we look forward to seeing you in an Optimax clinic soon!

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