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Ask the Experts: LASIK

By Dr. Luke Barker

Am I too old for LASIK? I’m 45 and have worn glasses my whole life. Now I need readers, too! Could LASIK help me?

Welcome to the magical world of middle age! As we all collect more birthdays, we all grow wiser, more experienced and slowly develop presbyopia. Presbyopia, or “middle-aged vision,” is the slow, progressive loss of the ability of our natural lens to flex and accommodate for near visual tasks, such as reading a book, your watch or cellphone. It does not affect your distance vision, only your up-close vision. It is very slow in nature, but in some patients, it seems quite abrupt as they have slowly adapted to holding things further away in order to read and focus. It will happen to all of us at some point between 40-55 years of age, whether we have never worn glasses or have had surgery to correct our vision.

Non-surgical options to help middle-aged eyes include over-the-counter or prescription reading glasses, bifocals, contact lenses or multifocal contact lenses. Thankfully as the technology of lasers and intraocular lenses have advanced, we now have the ability to conquer presbyopia for life.

Blended Vision LASIK

LASIK for blended vision (sometimes called monovision) is a great option for people wanting to have LASIK but needing help with reading vision as well. Here’s how it works: one eye is corrected for distance and the other eye for near vision.

Our wonderful and complex brains figure it all out, and the eyes work together to allow you to see well at both distances. I recently performed blended vision LASIK on Austin blogger/influencer Jen Hatmaker, and you can read about her results here.

Refractive Lens Exchange

Another customizable procedure called Laser Refractive Lens Exchange or clear lens exchange can temporarily and even permanently correct presbyopia, giving you more freedom from reading glasses and a better overall lifestyle. With this outpatient procedure, the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens to improve vision. And because the lens in your eye is replaced with an artificial lens to improve vision, Refractive Lens Exchange corrects your vision issue, and it removes the possibility of cataracts in the future!

Leave “cheater readers” in the dust by coming in for your free evaluation for Refractive Lens Exchange or blended vision LASIK with the eye care experts at Mann Eye Institute.

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