For the last several years, doctors have been hesitant to recommend LASIK eye surgery for patients who were farsighted.
Such patients could see clearly at a distance, but had trouble focusing on close up objects. This is a common problem for many people as they age and usually starts showing symptoms in the early to late 40s. The first sign of becoming farsighted is that these people have to hold reading material farther and farther away in order to be able to focus clearly. Eventually, they find that their arms are no longer lengthy enough to achieve proper focus.
LASIK surgery can resolve the problem of being farsighted, but at the expense of losing distance focusing. A typical farsighted person can see distant objects with no problem, but while LASIK surgery can solve the close focusing problem, the distance focusing is sacrificed in the process. Most people would consider this as just trading one problem for another.
However, research has shown that there is a way that LASIK eye surgery can help patients that suffer from farsightedness. It seems that the brain possesses powerful capabilities when processing images. The LASIK solution for farsightedness is to perform the procedure on one eye only, hence the name ‘monocular’.
An eye exam is used to determine which eye is best suited for distance viewing and that eye remains unaltered. The other eye undergoes the LASIK procedure and is then optimized for close object focusing. When the patient views an object, whether it’s near or far away, the brain accepts images from both eyes and merges the images through complex processing. In essence, one eye focuses on far away objects and the other eye focuses on close up objects. The brain uses both images and the end result is that patients can now see close up and far away – problem solved!
If you’re at the age where you’ve just begun to notice your farsightedness, it may be best to wait a couple of years before having the LASIK eye surgery. The reasoning is that during the initial onset of farsightedness, your eyes tend to change frequently, so if you have the procedure done too early, your changing eyes could negate the results in a year or two, so you may need to have the procedure repeated. If you wait until your eyes stabilize, or at least the changing process slows, you’re likely to realize longer lasting results.
Many LASIK surgery doctors have been offering an option when you elect to have the procedure – for a fairly small extra fee, they’ll provide you with lifetime repeat procedures for free if they’re ever needed. This way, if your eyes do change as you age, you can have the LASIK procedure repeated at no additional cost. This can be a wise investment if you’re in the 40 to 50 age group.
If you have the monocular vision correction procedure, you’ll find that it does take a little getting used to. After all, your eyes have been providing very similar signals to your brain for a long time. Now that each eye focuses differently, your brain has to adapt and process the different images into a single view.