Monovision is a technique of vision correction commonly used to correct presbyopia—the natural aging of the eye muscles and lenses of the eyes which makes focusing on near objects difficult and signal the need for magnifying reading glasses.
Monovision is a process that does this vision correcting by making one eye, usually the dominant one, corrected for distance vision and the other for close vision and then allowing the eyes to work together in a “blended vision” in which the brain adapts to the corrected vision in both eyes and allows focusing on both near and far object
Monovision vision or blended vision can be achieved with contact lenses, refractive surgery such as LASIK, or with artificial lens implants called intraocular lenses.
The Adaptation Period
It takes the visual processing system of our brains time to adapt to monovision so before having a surgical correction, you will need a trial period in which contact lenses are used to achieve the monovision to test how well it works for you.
The typical adjustment period is about one to three weeks. During the trial period you may need to try different power contact lenses to find the combination that works best for you.
During the adjustment period your eye doctor may want you to wear your monovision lenses for three or four hours a day and gradually add time, usually an hour each day, as your brain gets used to processing the adjusted vision.
Most people can adjust well to monovision and in time do not notice which eye is the one corrected for distance and which is the one corrected for near vision.
However, monovision may affect your depth perception so if your work requires excellent depth perception then monovision may not be the choice for you.
Your eye doctor will work with you to find the best corrective option for you. Two of the options available are computer monovision and modified monovision.
Computer monovision uses less magnification in the eye used for close vision. This type of monovision correction will enable good mid-distance vision for computer work, but you still may need reading glasses for reading fine print.
Modified monovision is when one of the contact lenses is a bifocal lens worn on the eye used for close vision. The other eye may be fitted with a single-vision contact. This option helps retain depth perception.
Getting monovision right for you may take several fittings appointments in which various lens combinations are tried.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of presbyopia and are having difficulty with close vision, see your eye professional to find the right corrective solution for you.
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