Can I Get LASIK for Presbyopia?

woman happy positive smile close eye check vision ophthalmologyAs we age, we are very likely to experience some type of diminishment of our eyesight. Fortunately, the most common problems are relatively easy to address. In addition to urging adults of all ages to receive comprehensive eye exams to check for eye diseases like glaucoma and retinopathy, these exams are also great for spotting the early signs of less-severe conditions like presbyopia. Presbyopia is not a type of eye disease. It is a natural change in the structure of the eye that causes issues seeing up-close. If you’re of the age when you’ve begun holding restaurant menus and other printed items at arm’s length, you may have presbyopia. If you’ve been doing this for some time, you may have already started relying on reading glasses to help you with up-close tasks. The longer that people rely on eyeglasses, the more likely they are to consider long-term solutions for their vision problems that may enable them to do most, if not all, tasks without them. LASIK is one of the most well-known vision correcting procedures. Because of that, it is often thought to be a good treatment option for presbyopia. Here, we discuss whether this is fact or fiction.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a refractive error that causes up-close objects to look blurry. When you look at your phone to read a text, the text looks blurry. For vision to appear crisp and clear, light must travel precisely through the eyes’ lenses and corneas. Presbyopia occurs when the lens of the eye becomes inflexible. Normally, the lens flexes in response to muscle movements that occur when we shift our point of focus. Without this flexibility, light cannot travel through the cornea in a straight enough pattern to achieve visual clarity.

What is LASIK?

LASIK is a very popular form of laser vision correction. The procedure has been performed millions of times in the past several years and has helped many people regain quality vision. During the LASIK procedure, the ophthalmologist utilizes a laser device to reshape the cornea. Reshaping can correct nearsightedness, in which objects a far distance are blurry. It can also correct farsightedness, in which objects close-up are blurry. It can also correct astigmatism. If you caught on to the fact that LASIK can correct up-close vision, you may assume it can be done to correct presbyopia. It cannot. Here’s why.

While presbyopia and farsightedness share the characteristic of blurry up-close vision, the cause of blurring occurs in two different ocular structures. LASIK can correct farsightedness because the blurriness of this condition is the result of an oddly shaped cornea. Here, the cornea is not as rounded as it should be; it’s too flat. Presbyopia, on the other hand, is a lens problem. LASIK works on the cornea, presbyopia requires treatment of the rigid lens. Treating Presbyopia If you are interested in minimizing or eliminating your reliance on reading glasses, Roholt Vision Institute has options. Some options leave the natural, dysfunctional lens in place but correct vision by creating monovision through various procedures or with contact lenses. For a multifocal approach that is very similar to the natural eye, patients may consider replacing the dysfunctional lens with an artificial lens. This process is nearly the same as cataract removal surgery. The ophthalmologist replaces the dysfunctional lens with a carefully-selected intraocular lens, which may remain in the eye indefinitely, providing clearer vision for many years.

Roholt Vision Institute has offices in North Canton, Alliance, and Canfield. Contact us today to schedule a visit to discuss your options for treating presbyopia.

Posted in: Presbyopia

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