The use of one eye for distance and one eye for near vision is referred to as monovision. It is one of the options to consider as part of your refractive surgery decision if you are over the age of 40.
Monovision has been used successfully for over 20 years with contact lens correction and with various types of refractive surgery. By correcting one eye to focus in the distance and one eye to focus for near, your brain tends to suppress or filter out the image from the eye that is not in clear focus. The patient is not bothered by the eye that is not in focus. We create monovision using the laser so that the dominant eye focuses at distance and the the non-dominate eye at near.
In our experience, most people over the age of 40 who try monovision and take the time to become accustomed to it, like it. In most cases, the brain adjusts to each eye being focused at a different distance within 6-8 weeks. You do not need to consciously make any adjustments. Those who have monovision are generally able to see well both at distance and close up. There may be some situations when the very best vision might require glasses. Night time driving and prolonged reading are the two most frequently mentioned examples.
There are situations when monovision is not an appropriate choice for your lifestyle. Our doctors will discuss the pros and cons of monovision with you. It is important to note that monovision can be reversed by performing an enhancement procedure on the eye originally corrected for near vision. Once the enhancement is performed the near eye sees more clearly in the distance; reading glasses are then required for all near tasks.