How does monovision work?

When an emerging presbyope is confronted with the reality that their near vision is not what it used to be they often ask their eye care professional what choices they have. For those early presbyopic patients the idea of giving up their contacts for progressive lenses or bi-focals is just not an option. Hence the need for multi-focal contacts. Traditionally multi-focal lenses require the eye to look through one portion of the lens for distance viewing and through another for near viewing. This presents a problem for soft contact lenses. Soft contact lenses stay stationary on the eye. As the eye turns the lens moves along with it making the traditional idea of how multi-focal lenses should work useless. Along comes the idea of Simultaneous Vision. With Simultaneous Vision the eye views through both the distance and near portion of the lens and allows the brain to determine which image to use.

Advances in eyecare

Monovision is a technique that is used for the correction of presbyopia but does not employ the distance and near design philosophy, instead it uses the same concept of Simultaneous Vision but uses one eye for distance and the other for near. These are regular contact lenses, the only difference is the power between the right and left eyes. During the exam the Doctor determines which eye is the dominant eye and uses this eye for distance vision while the other eye is used for near. Like traditional Simultaneous Vision lenses it allows the brain to determine which image to use. This fitting technique has enjoyed a great deal of success with early presbyopic patients not only for its ease in fitting but for cost as well. Traditional multi-focal contacts tend to cost more where as mono-vision will cost the same as regular single vision contacts, because that’s what they are.

Is monovision for you?

Mono-vision is not without its faults. Often people complain that it can make them feel disoriented or that their near and distance vision is not as sharp as it was with their glasses or non-monovision contacts. Its not very easy to tell who will be successful with monovision and who will not but if this is an interest it can be a great option for the presbyopic patient.


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