I have Presbyopia – Can LASIK cure it?

7 Sep 2023LASIK Procedures and Options

One of the most common transformations that greet us as we reach our mid-40s is presbyopia — the unwelcome guest that causes once-clear text and fine print to blur before our eyes.

For years, people just solved this by getting reading glasses. Of late, though, a new solution has been becoming more and more popular: LASIK.

LASIK (or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is a groundbreaking procedure that can correct many refractive errors and grant people a new lease on life through improved vision.

If you dislike wearing reading glasses, this may be the answer to your presbyopia problems. But let’s dive into all you need to know about the condition as well as the viability of treating it with LASIK before you make a decision.

Shinagawa_Blog Piece Mockup_Sept 2-03

Understanding Presbyopia

Presbyopia is commonly known as “Lao Hua Yan” as well as “age-related farsightedness”. It’s a condition where the eye loses the ability to focus on near objects, which often leads to people afflicted with it holding things at a distance to see them better.

Presbyopia is the result of an age-related decrease in the elasticity of the eye lens and weakening of the accommodation muscles. When you’re young, the lens is still soft and flexible – it can be reshaped with ease.

As we age, however, the lens gets tougher and more rigid. When this happens, it struggles to reshape itself the way it used to, making changing focus to near objects more difficult.

This is different from regular farsightedness (also called hyperopia), by the way. Hyperopia is typically caused by the natural shape of the person’s eyeball – which means it can occur in both the very young and adults.

Presbyopia, by contrast, is age-related and as we explained above, a result of the eye losing some of its ability to focus. As such, only those who are above 40 typically get presbyopia.

Presbyopia is also an uncomfortable condition that can lead to eye strain and headaches. This is why many people should get it corrected as soon as possible, to improve their quality of life.

Shinagawa_Blog Piece Mockup_Sept 2-04

Can presbyopia be corrected with LASIK?

Before anything else, it’s important to note that while you can get LASIK for presbyopia, the condition itself cannot be reversed. Presbyopia or the gradual rigidity of the lens is just a normal part of the ageing process for people.

But then, you are probably here to ask if presbyopia can be corrected with LASIK. The answer is yes.

This is because LASIK approaches the correction by reshaping the cornea instead of touching the lens of the eye. If you have read our guide to LASIK procedures, you will know that LASIK only treats the cornea.

Specifically, LASIK involves creating a flap in the outermost layer of the cornea. This flap is then lifted up and a very small, precise laser is used to remove microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea.

This reshapes the cornea, which results in the refractive corrections that people need to treat various conditions – including presbyopia.

Of course, LASIK cannot prevent the natural ageing process of the lens, which is why we said that the condition cannot be reversed. However, LASIK can provide distance and correction for some near-sight tasks by using a monovision treatment.

Monovision LASIK is a treatment method that helps patients overcome presbyopia. What happens is that one eye is corrected for near vision while the other is corrected for far vision.

This leaves residual power in one eye to “balance out” presbyopia, allowing for clear vision without the need for reading glasses. With both eyes open, one eye is used to see far and the other is used to see near. Not everybody can accept this type of vision. The monovision can be simulated with glasses during your pre-LASIK assessment to see if you are comfortable with this.  

Get a pre-LASIK consultation with an eye doctor today

Ultimately, presbyopia is a condition that many of us may experience at some point in our lives. It’s just another of the host of things that come with age.

Fortunately, while it is non-reversible, it is also treatable thanks to procedures like LASIK. If you do feel like this may be the option for you, you should see an eye care professional first. They can take you through all of your vision care options and assess whether or not you’re a good candidate for the procedure.

To that end, you can reach out to us at Shinagawa Eye Centre to consult with one of our eye surgeons on the possibility of treating your presbyopia with LASIK. Call us to enquire or book an appointment for a pre-LASIK assessment today.