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How is Your Vision

How is Your Vision

Eye Conditions Correctable by Refractive Surgical Procedures


How Do You See?

Nearsightedness (Myopia): I can see things better up close than far away.

Farsightedness (Hyperopia): I can see things better in the distance than up close.

Astigmatism: I have blurred, sort of double vision in the distance and up close.

Presbyopia: I have trouble reading but otherwise see pretty well far away.

Cataracts: I have blurry vision far and near even when wearing recently prescribed glasses on. (This may mean you have cataracts).

I can see things better up close than far away.

Nearsightedness (Myopia). If you can see things clearly up close but not in the distance, you are probably nearsighted. The medical term for this is Myopia (and your eyes would be classified as Myopic). Nearsighted eyes have a focus point up close and the vision is blurred in the distance because light entering the eye focuses in front of the retina. Distant objects are seen more clearly only with the help of glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery such as LASIK. Surgical Procedures to reduce the symptoms of Nearsightedness (Myopia).

  • LASIK
  • PRK
  • LASEK
  • EpiLasik
  • Phakic Implants

Mild to Moderate Case of Nearsighted Eyes. Mild to moderate amounts of nearsightedness (Myopia) where your prescription ranges from – 1.00 Diopters (thin glasses) on the low end and –10.00 Diopters (thick glasses) or more on the high end can usually be corrected with laser eye surgery (LASIK, PRK, LASEK, EpiLasik). A Diopter is the unit of measurement of your prescription (The term Diopter is commonly referred to with a “d”, so as an example, a prescription would read “-1.00 D” or “-1.00 d”). This is accomplished by reshaping the outer lens of your eye, your cornea, to refocus the light rays on your retina.

Severe Case of Nearsighted Eyes. If your prescription is between –8.00 Diopters and –20.00 Diopters your eyes may be best corrected with the insertion of implants inside the eye. (The term Diopter is commonly referred to with a “d”, so as an example, a prescription would read “-8.00 D” or “-8.00 d”). These implants are called Phakic Implants. The two Phakic Implants approved by the FDA in the United States are the STAAR Visian implant and the AMO Verisyse implant. Phakic Implants are placed inside the eye behind your cornea and in front of your natural lens (the internal lens of your eye that helps focus your vision from far to near). Phakic Implants can be combined with another laser vision correction procedure to correct any residual nearsightedness (Myopia) myopia or astigmatism not corrected by the implant.

To learn more about Myopia, please visit our Nearsightedness discussion

To find a refractive specialist who has qualified to be featured at Trusted LASIK Surgeons in your area, please visit our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory

I can see things better in the distance but not up close

Farsightedness (Hyperopia). If you can see things better in the distance than up close, you are farsighted. Farsighted or hyperopic eyes have a better focus for distance but are often blurred even for distance, particularly as you get older. Mild amounts of hyperopia (up to +2.00 Diopters to +3.00 Diopters) in younger patients under 40 are often not noticed as the eye has a mechanism (known as accommodation) for focusing the image. (The term Diopter is commonly referred to with a “d”, so as an example, a prescription would read “+2.25D” or “+2.25 d”). In general, after the age of 40, the amount of accommodation decreases each year. Most mildly farsighted people around the age of 40 will first need glasses to read, but will eventually need glasses for both near and distance (either with bifocals glasses or two separate pairs, one for reading and one for distance). Higher amounts of hyperopia, usually above +2.00 Diopters or +3.00 Diopters usually will require correction with glasses or contact lenses early in life. These patients will also require either two separate glasses or bifocals at around age 40. Many people confuse Farsightedness with Presbyopia.

Surgical Procedures for Farsightedness

Mild and Moderate Cases of Farsightedness (+2 Diopters to +5 Diopters). Laser Vision surgery (LASIK, PRK, LASEK, EpiLasik) is capable of correcting only up to about + 5 Diopters of farsightedness (Hyperopia).

Severe Case of Farsightedness. Higher amounts of hyperopia (over +5 Diopters) are usually best corrected by replacing the natural lens of the eye with an implant. This procedure is similar to cataract surgery but when it is performed only to correct the refractive error in eyes without cataracts and this refractive surgery is referred to as Refractive Lensectomy (RLE) or Clear Lensectomy (CLE).

To learn more about Hyperopia, please visit our Farsightedness discussion.

To find a refractive specialist who has qualified to be featured at Trusted LASIK Surgeons in your area, please visit our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory

I have blurred, sort of double vision in the distance and up close.

Astigmatism – If you have astigmatism, objects will be blurry and sort of double both far and or near depending on whether you have nearsighted or farsighted astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a condition, which occurs when the cornea has more than one curvature (like a football as opposed to a basketball). These multiple curvatures bend light differently and blurred vision is the result. Normal and purely nearsighted (Myopic) or purely farsighted (Hyperopic) eyes have one focal point. There is no such thing a pure astigmatism (where there is no nearsightedness or farsightedness). With astigmatism, your eyes have two different focal points. For nearsighted eyes with astigmatism, both focal points are either in front of the retina or one is focused on the retina and one in front of the retina. For farsighted eyes with astigmatism, both focal points are focused behind the retina or one is on the retina and one behind the retina. Although the word astigmatism to a layman sounds somewhat more serious (stigmata) than nearsightedness (Myopia) or farsightedness (Hyperopia), in reality most eyes have some degree of astigmatism. Laser vision surgery is quite accurate at correcting astigmatism of up to 4 or 5 Diopters in combination with the correction of myopia or hyperopia.

Surgical Procedures for Astigmatism

  • LASIK
  • PRK
  • LASEK
  • EpiLasik
  • RLE or CLE
  • Phakic Implants
  • Toric Implants
  • Astigmatic Incisions

To learn more about blurry vision due to Astigmatism, please visit our Astigmatism discussion.

To find a refractive specialist who has qualified to be featured at Trusted LASIK Surgeons in your area, please visit our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory

I have trouble reading but otherwise see pretty well far away.

Presbyopia refers to the natural decrease in the eyes’ ability to see up close as we get older. Even a patient with perfect vision (Emmetropia) all their life will require glasses to help them read, usually at some point in the early to mid forties.

Presbyopia typically begins to become noticeable to people at around age 40 and it will affect everyone at some point in their lives. Nearsighted people (with Myopia) can usually remove their glasses, hold the print up close, and read without glasses or have bifocals put in their distance glasses. Slightly farsighted people (with Hyperopia) will initially just need glasses to read but as they get older, they will need them for near and far. Moderately or severely farsighted people will already be wearing glasses for distance but will now need either bifocals or two separate pairs of glasses. Normal sighted people (called Emmetropia) who have never needed glasses will now need them in order to read small print. Presbyopia gets worse as we get older and thus patients require changes in reading power every few years. If you are near age 40 or older, your laser eye surgeon should discuss Presbyopia with you and explain your options to minimize this annoying decrease in your near vision.

Surgical Procedures to reduce the symptoms of Presbyopia.

  • KAMRA Corneal Inlay procedure*
  • Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)*
  • LASIK (monovision)
  • PRK (monovision)
  • LASEK (monovision)
  • EpiLasik (monovision)

*Conductive Keratoplasty or CK, monovision LASIK, and KAMRA and Raindrop corneal inlays are the only procedures approved by the FDA for treating Presbyopia.

 CK is not often employed because the effect degrades over a few months to a year or two so it has fallen out of favor with the recent approval of corneal inlays.   PRK was the first procedure approved by the FDA but it became less popular when LASIK was approved because LASIK offers less discomfort and a faster visual recovery. So both LASIK and PRK can be used to create "mono-vision" with one eye focused for distance and the other focused for near vision. Monovision has been a strategy for reducing the symptoms of Presbyopia for years with contact lenses and frequently in cataract surgery with lens implants. 

Today we have FDA approved procedures to help presbyopic patients who want to avoid wearing reading glasses or bifocals. For patients with cataracts, they can choose multifocal or accommodating lens implants as an alternative to mono-vision implants.  For patients who do not have cataracts and do not like the mono-vision option, they can investigate the Kamra or raindrop cornea inlays.  They each have advantages and disadvantages and patients can visit the Kamra or Raindrop websites for details about the history of the inlays and FDA guidelines to learn about how these corneal inlays work to improve reading vision without glasses.

Although none of these procedures “cure” Presbyopia, they can all reduce the need for reading glasses for everyday activities like reading a menu or looking at a cell phone. With “Monovision” or “blended vision”, one eye is focused better for reading while the other eye is focused primarily for distance. This is a common option for patients over the age of 40 who are considering laser vision surgery to correct their nearsightedness or farsightedness, with or without astigmatism. Monovision is also an option for patients who have always had natural excellent distance vision (Emmetropia) and desire to be able to read without glasses. Not all patients are comfortable with mono or blended vision and it is best to have this demonstrated with either contact lenses or glasses before choosing this option. Patients can get a feel for how the Kamra "pinhole inlay “works by having their eye surgeon demonstrate it by looking through a pinhole in the office.  It is not possible to demonstrate exactly how the Raindrop inlay works so it is best to rely on the information provided in the FDA approval summarized on the website.

To learn more about vision problems associated with reading and near vision, please visit our Presbyopia discussion.

To find a refractive specialist who has qualified to be featured at Trusted LASIK Surgeons in your area, please visit our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory

I have blurry vision far and near even with recently prescribed glasses on. (This may mean you have Cataracts.)

Cataracts are one condition that may explain why you have blurry vision far and near even with recently prescribed glasses on. With cataracts, there is a clouding of the normal internal lens of the eye which is more common after the age of 60. Although many eyes have early cataract formation, not all cataracts require surgery as patients with early cataracts can have normal vision with no symptoms. These cataracts can be observed until the patient begins to experience problems with their vision (with glasses on) such as blurred vision for far and or near, and or glare and difficulty driving at night. Other explanations for why you may have blurry vision far and near even with recently prescribed glasses include glaucoma or problems in the retina. Most doctors listed at Trusted LASIK Surgeons can provide treatments for any of these conditions and if they cannot, they can find you an expert capable of helping you.

Surgical Procedures for Cataracts.

Cataract Surgery (similar to RLE or CLE)

To learn more about cataracts, please see our Cataracts discussion.


To find a qualified refractive specialist who is featured at Trusted LASIK Surgeons in your area, please visit our Trusted LASIK Surgeons Directory

The screening process and standards used by Trusted LASIK Surgeons™ can be found at:

How Are Lasik Eye Surgeons Qualified at TLS

If you are a LASIK or Cataract Surgeon and interested in being a member of the Trusted LASIK Surgeons, sign up below and we will contact you.

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