nearsightedness, bifocals and surgery

Is there an eye surgery procedure that treats both nearsightedness and the need for bifocals?

The most common method I know of is to have your natural lenses replaced with artificial ones, like what is done in cataract surgery, and have one eye corrected for distance vision and the other for reading. Not everyone adapts to this method, though, so usually you’re tested beforehand with things like two different contact lenses. Alternately, lenses can be implanted which supplement, not replace, your natural lens.

I suspect you may be able to combine LASIK/PRK for distance with supplemental lenses for close vision, but am really not sure if that’s done often.

None of these methods is recommended if your vision is still getting worse.

This isn’t really my area (I work in Ophthalmology, IANAD/N), but my impression is that this kind of surgery isn’t done often except in people that have a real medical need of some kind, and even then they’d probably just correct your distance vision and tell you to wear reading glasses. People in their late 30s/early 40s who want LASIK are warned that they’ll soon enough need reading glasses, after all.

That’s what I was told six years ago; I had hoped the technology had advanced enough to eliminate the need for glasses altogether.

We’re able to adjust focus from near to far because our natural lenses are flexible when we’re young. The problem is that the natural lenses get less and less flexible with age. Corrective surgery can’t restore that flexibility, and lens implants have pretty much no flexibility.

When someone develops a way of restoring that flexibility or a flexible implant that will be a huge breakthrough, and will probably get more fanfare than LASIK did.

I had cataract surgery in both eyes in my forties, and the surgeon did just what the other poster described: my right eye is now corrected for near vision, the left for distance. It isn’t a perfect fix, though. As I understand it, some people don’t need any corrective lenses after the surgery, but some do. I do, but I have multiple problems due to a corneal condition. At any rate, I wouldn’t count on such a surgery to eliminate the need for lenses.

I don’t know if Lasik can correct for farsightedness or not. I had it for nearsightedness once; in my case, it was a temporary fix, but as I said, my circumstances are somewhat unusual. But there are other options out there, including implantable lenses, that you might want to check into.

The cosmetic version of the replacing the lenses in your eye for artificial ones (what they do for cataract patients) is called in intra-ocular implant. The pricing of the surgery done by an opthamologist is similar to Lasik. The FDA approved this surgery for cosmetic purposes in the US about 6 years ago. It is recommended over Lasik for people that have thin corneas. Talk to your eye doctor.

I had LASIK surgery that eliminated the need for bifocals. My right eye was corrected to 20/20 distance vision. My left eye was corrected to slightly worse than 20/20. Somehow, that combination gives me excellent close vision and “good enough” distance vision. I haven’t had glasses on for six years.