Monovision Blended LASIK
Reviewed by: Dr. David Evans
Have you relied on glasses or contacts for years and now need reading glasses, too? Would you like to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses? If so, monovision LASIK or blended LASIK may be the solution for you.
In both of these procedures, your eyes are corrected so that your right eye can be used for different tasks than your left. More specifically, one eye is corrected for distance and the other is corrected for near or intermediate vision.
Check out this brief introductory video, or continue below for more information on the benefits of monovision and blended LASIK.
Benefits of Monovision LASIK & Blended LASIK
Both monovision and blended LASIK can help you achieve clear distance and near vision.
Blended vision LASIK may be more effective and easier to get accustomed to than monovision LASIK. If you have the vision problems mentioned above, blended vision is likely an option for you. (It is suitable for nearly 100 percent of people with these vision problems.) Almost everyone who has blended LASIK will be able to read newsprint following the procedure, and more than 90 percent will be able to read even smaller print.
Monovision LASIK is suitable for about half of the people who have the vision problems described above.
Like other forms of LASIK, monovision LASIK and blended vision LASIK offer the following benefits:
- Great results
- Quick procedure
- Little pain or discomfort
How do the Procedures Differ?
You most likely have a dominant eye. Monovision LASIK takes advantage of this by correcting your dominant eye for distance vision, while intentionally leaving your other eye mildly nearsighted so you can see objects up close. If you are interested in this approach, your eye doctor will likely recommend that you try monovision with contact lenses prior to moving forward with monovision LASIK surgery.
Blended vision is a related approach that still corrects your eyes for different distances. However, whereas monovision leaves one eye mildly nearsighted, blended vision corrects it for intermediate vision; in other words, after surgery your right eye’s prescription will be more similar to the left eye’s prescription than it would be if you had monovision LASIK.
The monovision and blended vision approaches can also be applied to other vision correction procedures, including PRK, implantation of phakic IOLs, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and cataract surgery with premium IOLs. Ask your eye surgeon for more information on these possibilities.
Are You a Candidate?
If you are myopic or nearsighted, when you remove your distance glasses, you can easily read a book or newspaper without any eyewear. If so, you are a good candidate for monovision or blended vision. These procedures use the natural focusing state of your vision to make one eye your “reading” eye while the other is corrected for distance.
If you have tried monovision or blended vision with contact lenses and it worked for you, you are probably a candidate for the LASIK version of these approaches. However, there are certain other requirements.
Regardless of the type of LASIK you are considering (monovision, blended, all-laser, etc.), you must be at least 21 years of age.
You also must have realistic expectations of the outcome. This is particularly important with monovision and blended vision LASIK, because these types of LASIK may leave you with decreased depth perception (see Risks & Complications below). To this end, if you rely on precise depth perception in your line of work, you are not a good candidate for monovision or blended vision LASIK.
If you have thin corneas you may not be a candidate for these procedures. If this is the case, you may still be a candidate for a different laser vision correction procedure such as PRK or LASEK, or a non-laser refractive surgery procedure. Ask your eye doctor for more information on LASIK alternatives.
To be eligible for monovision or blended LASIK, you also must be willing to accept the potential risks and complications of these procedures.
Risks & Complications
If you are considering monovision LASIK or blended vision LASIK, you should be aware that both are something of a compromise. You will be able to see objects clearly both up close and far way, but, because your right eye is focusing at one distance while your left is focusing at another, you may lose depth perception.
You may still need reading glasses for certain tasks after monovision or blended vision LASIK.
Other risks and potential complications of any LASIK procedure include dry eye, infection and dissatisfaction with the results.
How Much Do These Procedures Cost?
Monovision LASIK and blended vision LASIK are comparable in cost to other LASIK-based procedures. You should expect to pay about $2,000 or more per eye. These procedures are not covered by insurance.
If the up-front cost seems prohibitive, speak to your eye surgeon about financing. There are many financing options available for these procedures.
Also, if your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can use it to pay for your LASIK procedure. If you’re unsure, ask your human resources representative if your company offers this type of program.