I want to read without glasses!

Presbyopia is the natural loss of accommodation (the ability of the eye to change focus) as we get older. This happens to everybody and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 50. Typically, you need to read with “long arms” and eventually give in to needing reading glasses to read up close. This can become very frustrating for some people and hence the desire for a surgical solution.

The reality is that there is NO perfect solution, but there are some excellent options, each having its pros and cons. There is no one solution that suits everyone, so it’s worth having a thorough examination to assess what’s best for you.

Surgical solutions include:

1) LASIK laser vision correction with monovision

Laser vision correction is possible once you get over 45 years of age. With “Mono-vision”, one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other is corrected for near which allows you to see in the distance and read without glasses. This solution is not for everybody and it’s recommended that you have a “contact lens trial” with this correction to find out if you can tolerate this visual discrepancy. It’s an excellent, safe and simple solution which some people love.

The surgery involves undergoing traditional LASIK or PRK laser treatment. The surgery takes about 10 minutes to complete and is painless.

2) Presbyond (Blended Vision) combined with LASIK

PRESBYOND Laser Blended Vision is an individualised treatment plan based on preoperative spherical aberrations and the functional age of the eye. As a result, a customised fusion of the two images for near and distance vision is created for the patient creating a (Blend Zone)

The blend zone essentially, makes it easier for the brain to merge the images of both eyes, thereby achieving binocular vision, eg how you get around in your day to day life, with both eyes open and working together. Presbyond patients adapt faster and most are delighted about not having to wear glasses anymore. PRESBYOND Laser Blended Vision is tolerated by a high number of patients – up to 97 %.(world results)

3) Clear lens extraction with multi focal lens implants

“Lens extraction” is the same surgical procedure as cataract surgery, but takes place before an actual cataract (lens opacity) has developed. The surgery is invasive, so has some additional risks when compared to laser surgery. Your natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens that remains in your eye forever. The new lens technologies are very good and allow you to see well in the distance, intermediate and near. The visual results from this surgery are excellent, however, it’s important to understand that we cannot replicate the same vision you had when you were younger.

This is an excellent solution for patients who are over the age of 50 years of age, need glasses for distance and near vision and have otherwise normal eyes.

In summary

If taking reading glasses on and off the whole time is driving you mad, you may want to consider one of these surgical solutions. Each of these surgical procedures have specific risks and benefits and treatment is only advised if we think you will benefit from surgery. You will need to have a thorough eye examination before we can decide which solution is best for you.

The cost of the procedures differs. These surgeries are generally not covered by Medicare or Private Health Insurance. You will be given a comprehensive quote for foreseeable costs once we have decided which is best suited to you.

All surgical procedures carry a small risk of complication, these are discussed in detail at the time of your consultation.

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About the expert

Dr Anton van Heerden, MBCHB; FRANZCO
Ophthalmologist & Laser Eye Surgeon

Based in Melbourne, but with a reputation that transcends borders, Dr Van Heerden sets the highest bar for laser vision correction surgery in Australia. While his skills and experience are second to none, it is his fun, caring and down to earth nature that truly set’s him apart from the rest. You can sit back and enjoy the journey knowing every detail has been carefully considered.

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