Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monovision or Not

I got my very first pair of glasses when I was in the third grade. I got my first pair of contacts when I was a sophomore in high school. I am not one of those people blessed with distance vision.

That means I have been wearing corrective eye-wear for three decades.

What I did not know is that somewhere between the age of 40-45 years old everyone's eye sight changes. Apparently the dirty little secret out there is that my near vision will soon start to diminish. My eye doctor has been warning me about it for a few years. Thankfully, my near vision is holding in there.

I have started to contemplate having LASIK surgery. I had a consultation last week. Since I am over the age of 40, the doctors know that my long distance vision has been stable for decades but my near vision is about to change. The Doctor explained the procedure and a process called Monovision. I have no reservations about the surgery itself. I wish I could say the same thing about the Monovision.

The Monovision procedure fixes your dominate eye for distance vision and your other eye for near vision. Sorta like bifocals without the glasses. Every Doctor I talk to promises me that the brain will compensate and I will get use to the difference.


I have two option for LASIK surgery:

Option 1 is to fix my distance vision only. The obvious benefit is I will no longer require correct eye-wear to have 20/20 vision. The drawback is as my near vision changes, I will once again need corrective eye-wear to see things within arms reach, even if those are only reading glasses.

Option 2 is to fix my distance vision and preemptively fix my near vision through Monovision. This way, I will decrease the likelihood of needing future corrective ear-wear.

The good news is that I can try Monovision before surgery through the use of contact lenses.  I left the consultation with a pair of contacts: a -4.5 for one eye and a -3.0 for the other.

The first day I was able to keep the contacts in for five hours. I felt hazy the entire day. You know that feeling when you are drinking adult beverages and you start to realize you might be a "little" intoxicated? That moment when you realize your world is a blurry. Well, that is exactly how I felt the entire five hours. I could see both near and far but everything was just slightly off. You would think taking them out would have been a relief but the reality is, my eyes hurt for the rest of the night.

After consulting with the Doctor,  it was suggested that maybe my dominate eye was assessed incorrectly. So Day 2, I swapped the contacts and tried it again {I am blessed to have the same prescription in both eyes}. It was better. Less hazy. Less dizzy. But it still was not enjoyable; things were just not crisp. I found I would shut one eye to get the results I was use to.

I am just not sure I can do this whole Monovision thing. If that is the case, I am not sure I should spend the money for surgery when I realistically could end back up in reading glasses for 60% of my day. {I have been assured I won't be able to read a book without glasses, or my cell phone, or my computer, or anything else up to arms distance away from my eyes.}

I am normally really good at decision making. I make big decision all the time. For myself, for my family, shoot, professionally I even help other people make decisions. But, I am struggling to make this decision.

Maybe I am considering LASIK surgery too late in my life? Or too early? Maybe I should wait until the near vision does change and I will be so thankful that I will be willing to compromise some clarity of distance vision in order to have some near vision. Or maybe I should just stay in glasses and contacts and transition slowly to bifocals?

Dear friends, can you help? Do any of you have thoughts? Do any of you have any experience with Monovision?  I would greatly appreciate your assistance in making this decision.

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