Frequently Asked Questions

Reading Glasses and Over 40s Questions


Q. Is laser surgery suitable for someone who just wears glasses for reading? Distance vision is fine.

A. The laser surgery we offer for reading only prescriptions is called Monovision. This involves correcting one eye for reading and leaving your other eye for distance.


Q. Can laser treatment correct the need for reading glasses?

A. The laser treatment we offer to correct reading prescriptions is called Monovision. This involves correcting one eye for reading and leaving the other eye for distance.


Q.  I have just had my eyesight tested again and now need to wear my driving glasses permanently for distance and also wear glasses for reading. What can Optimax do for me?

A. Depending on the condition of your eyes there are a couple of options available through surgery, it really depends on your lifestyle and the vision correction you want out of treatment.  We can either correct the need for your distance glasses leaving you with the need for reading glasses only or we could look to remove both sets.  At this stage, prior to consultation, the best way to determine possible surgery options and outcomes is with your full glasses prescription information.


Q. I had laser treatment with your Manchester clinic back in 1993. I am now 47 and have noticed that I am like most other people my age starting to struggle with reading. I have also noticed that I have slowly become short sighted slightly again. I would like the short sightedness treated again, but will that make me dependent on reading glasses? What would you advise? I would really like to get my distance vision back to spot on for golf and watching football etc.

A. If you require reading glasses only then you may be suitable for CK treatment, where radio waves are used to alter the cornea to all you to read unaided. If you are slightly short sighted and your ability to read has improved due to this, then you may wish to remain slightly short sighted.  If you have a full correction then you will require reading glasses after treatment.


Q.  I am 68 years old and have been wearing glasses permanently now for about 10 years, I think that my vision is probably age-related. Would I benefit from laser eye surgery at my age?

A. It will depend on the outcome you wish to achieve from surgery.  Laser eye surgery can remove the need for your distance and intermediate glasses, but you will still require reading glasses for small print or in poor lighting.  If you would like to remove glasses fully, then you should consider the Refractive Lens Exchange surgery.  We will assess and discuss all surgery options with you during your consultation.


Q. Do you carry out blended laser eye surgery?

A. We offer monovision treatment, which is similar to blended vision but it is not the same corrective outcome.  The nearest option we have is called PresbyMAX.  This surgery offers a blended correction to each eye, which in turn offers distance correction in one eye and reading in the other, but the blended correction through the eye also allows intermediate correction.  This way, we achieve distance and reading correction with a very good intermediate range of vision between the two eyes.  The surgery is performed in our London clinic only, but consultation can be carried out in most of our clinic locations. 


Q. I currently wear contact lenses for distance and reading glasses over the top for near vision. This allows me to read, but very close up work is better without lens or additional glasses. If my eyes were to be treated could all of these issues be resolved?

A. This is a common problem for short sighted people over the age of 45-50.  The need for reading glasses, which develops with age, causes the eyes to require a long sighted prescription.  Your natural short sighted prescription actually counteracts this, so without any correction, you can read well but as soon as you put distance glasses on, you will need reading glasses.
Standard laser surgery would not remove all glasses, as it will correct your eyes in much the same way your contact lenses do, so you would still require reading glasses for small print or in areas of poor lighting.  To use laser eye surgery to remove both distance and reading glasses, we would look at possible monovision as the corrective outcome.
If monovision was not suitable or you would prefer to consider an alternative outcome, the alternative would be Refractive Lens Exchange surgery or replacement lens surgery. With new advanced lenses, we can correct your vision at all distances, thus correcting all of your issues.
We assess for all options during a consultation, so will be able to demonstrate and discuss each technique, their outcomes, etc. to help you decide which option would suit you best.


Q.  I had laser eye surgery on both eyes at Optimax in 1999 and have been great. I am now 45 and my sight is getting a bit blurred, can I have eye surgery done again? I also need +1.00 reading glasses

A. With regard to any suitability for treatment we would need your recent eye test results to check that they are within the range in which we can treat and if they are, we would need to book you an appointment to assess your eyes to determine if a retreatment is possible. There would be a £25 charge for this appointment. With regard to the need for reading glasses, this is the natural ageing of the eye. The need for reading glasses is different to the need for glasses for good distance vision. The need for reading glasses is known as Presbyopia and is brought on in the mid-40s by the 'stiffening' of the lens inside your eye. With laser treatment, we can correct both eyes for Distance Vision but you would still need reading glasses afterward or an alternative that we offer is called Monovision. This is where your weaker eye (non-dominant) will be identified and selected to be made slightly short-sighted for better closer up vision. Your strongest (dominant) eye remains untreated (unless you need treatment for distance vision as well). The result is that one eye sees well in the distance and the other sees close up objects well. Good vision for both near and far objects at the same time without glasses is achieved.


Q.  I am short-sighted and have been wearing the same glasses for approx. 5 years. My long sight is still fine when wearing the glasses but recently I have noticed that my short sight is blurred when looking at thing close up through the glasses, but fine if I remove them. I had an eye examination a year ago at Optimax and was found to be suitable for treatment to correct my long vision. I am concerned that if I have treatment, I will require glasses for my short sight although this is currently ok.

A. The need for reading glasses comes on with age and will continue to progress as you get older.  The lenses inside your eyes become rigid as you get older and create a long sighted refraction error.  When you are short sighted, your eyes naturally act as a reading glasses and counteract the long sighted effect created by the deterioration.  This will continue for as long as the short sight can counteract the long sight effectively.  Should the long sight become too strong, you will then need to start wearing varifocals or buying distance and reading glasses. In answer to your question, if we treat your eyes as normal, it will act the same way your distance glasses do now so your near sight will become affected in the same way.  As the light dims or the print gets smaller your eyes will struggle and you will need a set of reading glasses instead.  There are options available we can assess for to remove both the distance and reading glasses.  Using laser eye surgery this would be through monovision but there are other alternatives if this is not an option you wish to consider.  You are welcome to come back for another consultation where we can assess the current level of sight and explore all options available for you to make a decision on whether laser eye surgery is the right option for you.


Q. Over the last 2 years I am having trouble reading small print, I have no problems with distance, is it possible to get laser treatment and would it help with my reading?

A. Yes we can do something for you. Please click HERE to read up on Monovision.


Q. My optician has told me I need glasses because of my age (47) and laser treatment would not be able to help, is this true?

A. We are able to treat presbyopia (Age related need for glasses). The surgery offered is more of a compromise and to view this option please click HERE.


Q. Do you do iris recognition?

A. Yes, All our lasers are equipped with very fast eye trackers (200Hz) which lock onto the pattern of the iris during treatment. This ensures that the treatment is accurately positioned on your eye and if you move your eye during surgery the laser follows it.


Q. I had lasik 7 years ago and it was very succesful but now I am 53 years old and my near sight is not as good, I know this is called myopia. Is there anything I can do about it other than wear reading glasses?

A. Myopia is shorsightedness.  Presbyopia is when reading glasses are required.  If you only require reading glasses, you may consider having CK (Conductive Keratoplasty) treatment where radio waves are used to re-profile the cornea.  Please contact our Customer Services Department on 0800 093 1110 to discuss this treatment.


Q. Is CK treatment reversible if not successful? What is the average time scale for healing? As I had it done 9 days ago and everything is blurred where it wasn't before.

A. CK treatment is not reversible.  At 9 days your eyes are still adjusting and healing.  You should see a gradual improvement.  You should see more improvement in the next 2 weeks, if not then you should return to the clinic for a check up.