Monovision is a solution for those with eye defects wherein one lens is worn in one eye to correct problems with distance vision, while another lens is worn in the other eye to solve problems with near vision. The dominant eye is the one that is normally fitted with the contact lens aimed for distance vision.
Monovision lenses reduce the need to wear reading glasses, which are needed most of the time by those suffering from presbyopia. They are also recommended for those who, for one reason or another, cannot wear multifocal contact lenses.
At first, wearing monovision contact lens may seem hard. After all, fitting your dominant eye with a lens intended to only solve your problem when looking at a distance means objects that you need to see up close will be blurry to look at. The opposite is true with the non-dominant eye. As it is fitted with a lens aimed to alleviate one’s near vision problems, looking at an object far away would be difficult to do for that eye.
We have to remember, however, that your two eyes actually work together. While it may take some adapting, oftentimes, monovision contact lens would yield both clarity and a comfort level which are acceptable for any distance. Your eyes will eventually automatically adjust to the situation, depending if the object of your vision is situated nearby or at a distance.
As a matter of fact, most people who have adjusted to the use of monovision contact lens would not be even able to tell as to which of their two eyes is considered as their up close eye and which is the one fitted for distance use.
Downsides of Monovision
• The problem with the use of monovision contact lenses is that the user may never be fully satisfied with the sharpness of his vision. There are some who feel that objects at a distance still appear to be vague. There are others, meanwhile, who still cannot attain a comfort level needed when reading things up close.
• Cost may also be a factor. While the lenses are typically the regular and conventional single vision lenses that are less expensive than multi focal lenses, fitting monovision contact lenses will require more trips to the optometrist.
• It is more complex because even a seemingly minor change in the grade of the lenses being used could result in a major difference in terms of comfort and clarity for the user. Once a change has been made, the user needs to spend several days to adapt to the new grades. Any discomfort means another trip to the optometrist.
• Eye doctors also typically charge almost double for a monovision lens fitting compared to conventional lens fitting due to the extra complexity. If successful though the extra cost is more than worth it as it provides significant convenience. Using reading glasses over the top of your contact lenses is reasonable but terribly inconvenient.
Monovision Surgical Option
Surgery may also be done to accomplish monovision permanently. Do consult your optometrist and ask about the pros and cons of this option. This concept should be tested first for a period of time by using contact lenses to see if the user could adapt to monovision comfortably before proceeding with a permanent solution.
At The Eye Practice we fit both monovision and multifocal contact lenses, as well as regularly assessing for suitability in laser eye surgery.
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