Monovision with contact lenses is a misnomer since the vision is bi-focal like in any normal case. Monovision is a newly flourishing procedure that is becoming extremely popular these days and is ideally recommended to patients who have well- developed presbyopia and are above the age of 40 years. In aging adults, the lens loses its flexibility with age to form images by readjusting the width of lens. The result is unclear or blurry near vision. This condition is known as presbyopia and is marked by difficulty in reading small text and maintaining a clear image of nearby objects due to difficulty in focusing. How can monovision with contact lens help with the condition?
How does Monovision Work?
Monovision is an ideal therapy in individuals who wear contact lenses and don’t want reading glasses for the correction of presbyopia. Correction by monovision involves introduction of a lens in one eye for correction of distant vision and other lens in other eye to correct near vision. You should know that the lens for correction of distant vision is implanted in the dominant eye. We all have one eye dominant over the other (that helps a great deal in forming major part of the image even when you are using both the eyes to form an image).
After the implantation of two lenses in respective eyes according to dominance (determined after the series of testing), you may experience blurring of distant vision with the eye that homes the lens for near vision; similarly, near vision will be a little hazy with the eye that accommodates the lens for distant vision but with both eyes open, the two lens work as a unit to deliver clear and comfortable vision.
What Are Different Varieties of Monovision?
There are a number of factors that helps your doctor in choosing the right variety of monovision procedure for you. It is always recommended to discuss your wishes with your healthcare provider. The most popular varieties are:
In this procedure, your doctor may introduce a low magnifying power to the lens that will be inserted in your non-dominant eye. Mini-monovision is a perfect and handy solution for the individuals who want a sharp distant vision because of occupational responsibilities or lifestyle choices. A perfect candidate is one who doesn’t require a lot of reading or near vision work. With mini-monovision you may not read with absolute clarity but you will not be dependent on your reading glasses all the time.
2. Modified monovision
Modified monovision is similar to mini-monovision in many respects. It involves accommodation of one lens in the dominant eye to control distant vision and introduction of a bifocal lens in the non-dominant eye to maintain distant vision as well as near vision. You don’t need reading glasses with modified monovision and at the same time the image quality will be sharper and much clearer than ordinary contact lenses. Depending upon the nature of work and individual requirement, your healthcare provider may adjust the power and focal length of your bifocal lens.
What Are the Limitations of Monovision?
Although monovision is getting very popular among general population, it has certain limitations. A lot of people consider it a little inconvenient in terms of maintenance of image quality and clarity of distant vision. People who underwent monovision procedures believe that the distant vision may get a little blurry that adds to frustration. Other people suggest that the quality of near vision is inadequate and insufficient that defeats the purpose of the procedure (to get rid-off the reading glasses). A lot of people are bound to use reading glasses for better near vision).
Although the image quality is not perfect after monovision, it is definitely better than no therapy.
What Is the Cost of Monovision Contact Lenses?
The cost of monovision procedure is dependent on the quality of contact lenses used; for example, in varieties like min-monovision or standard monovision, lenses of single focal lengths are used that are less expensive. However, if you are employing procedures that will employ multi-focal lenses, the cost of therapy may increase to a significant deal. You can reduce the cost by employing procedures like modified monovision that uses only one bifocal lens (thereby reducing your cost to a significant extent).
Nevertheless, monovision contact lens fitting is a somewhat complicated procedure that may require frequent optometrist visit to ensure satisfactory results as compared to the fitting of conventional contact lens. Frequent doctor visits are important because the changes in the focal length of lens and resulting power of combined lenses from both eyes play a major part in the satisfaction of customer and quality of image. It may require weeks to get used to the results of monovision contact placements.
To sum up, the total cost of monovision lens placement is almost twice as expensive when compared to the placement cost of conventional lenses.
There are permanent options available for the management of presbyopia. In order to surgically manage presbyopia prior to monovision, it is recommended to opt for LASIK or conductive keratoplasty procedures. Correction of presbyopia increases the success rate of monovision contact lenses that may help in achieving desired results. However, it must be kept in mind that this is a major decision and may affect your life. Healthcare providers recommend a test run before actually adopting the procedure and taking practical steps like surgery. You can use monovision contact lenses for a brief period (up to 2 to 4 weeks) to see if you are comfortable and satisfied with the results.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to discuss with your healthcare provider to learn about the process and adequate management options.