LASIK Monovision

Monovision addresses the problem of presbyopia that most people start to encounter 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.

The brain typically adjusts to monovision within a couple of weeks or months, as it learns to filter out the image from whichever eye is not in clear focus. In our experience, patients who try monovision and take the time to become fully accustomed to it, like it and find it very useful. They are often able to see well enough at any distance without corrective lenses, regardless of their age.

Monovision can be achieved with contact lenses or with LASIK. If you are considering monovision, Dr. Seibel can put you into monovision contact lenses first, so you can try it before you permanently correct your eyes with LASIK.


The chief advantage of monovision is the freedom it provides from reading glasses. Usually, after six to eight weeks (often sooner) the brain adjusts and differentiates automatically, making it possible to have the full range of focus without corrective lenses.

If a person has less than two diopters of myopia (distance vision of approximately 20/100 or better), one eye can be corrected to provide good distance vision, and the other eye can be left uncorrected primarily for good near vision.

People with greater amounts of myopia may have their dominant eye corrected for distance vision, and the non-dominant eye under-corrected to provide better near vision.

It is surprising how many patients adapt readily and happily to this vision option. Should you initially choose monovision and subsequently become unhappy with it, enhancement surgery to fully correct the under corrected eye is an option.


Monovision 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 therefore may be a compromise between the two. It is ideal for people with an active lifestyle who don’t want the bother of wearing glasses.

Sometimes, because of depth perception difficulties, not everyone can successfully adjust to monovision. And, even successful monovision patients may require glasses for specific visual tasks, such as for driving at night or for detailed near work requiring precise depth perception.

It is important to note that presbyopia progresses as we age. If the amount of presbyopia progresses beyond the degree of myopia in the eye corrected for reading, then reading glasses would become necessary at that time.

When helping you to decide whether monovision is right for you, Dr. Seibel may ask these questions:

  • Do you engage activities that require sharp distance vision?
  • Do you read for long stretches or have a hobby that requires precise near vision?
  • Do you drive extensively at night?
  • Are you very discriminating about the quality of your vision and willing to put up with glasses in order to achieve it?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, monovision may not be the best choice for you. Monovision is ideal for those who are willing to accept a bit of a compromise in order to be as independent from glasses as possible.