Presbyopia Surgery Treats the Age-Related Loss of Vision

Presbyopia surgery treats the age-related loss of vision that all of us will experience beginning sometime in our 40s. Theories about the causes of presbyopia include either a loss of flexibility of the natural crystalline lens, or weakening of the ciliary muscles that control the shape of the crystalline lens. Another theory suggests that the lens continues to grow and this affects its ability to focus.

Presbyopia surgery options mean that we don’t have to settle for wearing bifocal glasses in our later years. Presbyopia typically results in the loss of our near vision and the ability to read without glasses.

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Monovision Options

Monovision has been used successfully to treat presbyopia.

Monovision can be accomplished using contact lenses, but not everyone can wear contacts. Surgically, monovision can be created using Lasik, CK, or conductive keratoplasty, or laser thermal keratoplasty (LTK).

Monovision corrects the dominant eye for distance vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. It takes a couple weeks to adjust to the loss of depth perception, but many people find it to be a satisfactory solution.

If you are considering monovision, ask to try this with contact lenses for a few weeks. Be sure you can adjust to this way of seeing before you make a decision you can’t change, later.

CK was one of the first presbyopia surgery correction efforts. CK works by steepening the curve of the cornea, thus decreasing farsightedness and increasing near vision.

The correction made by CK will gradually diminish, and vision will return to a natural state after several years. CK can be used to create monovision by correcting one eye to increase near vision clarity.

Lasik has been used to create monovision. With laser eye surgery both near and far vision can be corrected, improving both ranges of vision.

A third procedure, LTK combines the methods used by CK with the laser used in Lasik. It uses a laser to tighten the periphery of the cornea, which steepens its dome shape.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)

Refractive Lens Exchange, or RLE is another presbyopia surgery option. This treatment is identical to cataract surgery. It involves removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial one.

This is considered an “off-label” use of the lenses approved for cataract surgery. But, these multifocal or accommodative lenses work as well for correcting presbyopia as they do for correcting cataracts.


PresbyLasik is the technique of using Lasik ablation to create focal zones in concentric circles on the cornea. These zones enable clear vision at different distances, for both eyes.

Multifocal contact lenses have successfully provided clear multi-distance vision for many years. Similar lenses have been used for cataract surgery, as well. PresbyLasik simply etches the multifocal design into the cornea.

Corneal Inlays

Corneal inlays are small discs inserted between layers near the outer surface of the cornea. These have a small opening that narrows the field of vision, helping to focus light in a way that improves near vision.

Return From Presbyopia Surgery to Other Eye Surgery

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