Monovision addresses the problem of presbyopia that most people start to encounter at the age of 40-45 when they begin to need reading glasses or bifocals for close vision. With monovision, the dominant eye (the eye you would use to focus a camera) is focused for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye is focused for near to intermediate vision. This can be done with contact lenses, refractive surgery or intraocular lenses.
Monovision certainly isn’t appropriate for everyone. However, when paired with the right person, it can be a great fit. Monovision is a blend of near and distance vision, and is ideal for people with an active lifestyle. However, there is a caveat to consider: since it is a compromise, most people’s vision isn’t perfectly crisp up close or far away. Instead, it offers the best of both worlds.
Most people who opt for monovision go through a brief period of adaptation as the brain “learns” to see with the eye best suited for the task. If you’re considering refractive surgery as a permanent form of monovision, it might be best to consider a “test drive” with contact lenses before making a decision.
When helping you to decide whether monovision is right for you, your doctor or eyecare professional may ask these questions:
1) Do you enjoy golf or activities that require sharp distance vision?
2) Do you read for long stretches or have a hobby that requires precise near vision?
3) Do you drive extensively at night?
4) Are you very discriminating about the quality of your vision?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, monovision may not be best suited to you. It’s ideal for those who are willing to accept a compromise so they can be as independent from glasses as possible.