Blog Hero

Can LASIK Fix Presbyopia?

Book Appointment
A senior woman squinting her eyes to see more clearly while holding a phone in her right hand

When getting older, some patients may struggle to see clearly when reading a book or focusing on something close-up. If this happens to you, you may wonder if you need new corrective lenses or if there’s another possible issue. 

Many patients develop presbyopia with time, leading to blurry vision they need reading glasses to correct. If reading glasses aren’t the solution you’re looking for, can laser eye surgery be the answer? 

Speak with Your Eye Doctor About LASIK & Presbyopia

Traditional LASIK focuses on correcting refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. During surgery, your doctor reshapes the cornea with a specialized laser to help improve your sight. However, this procedure may not be beneficial for presbyopia because this condition affects the eye’s lens, not the cornea. 

Traditional LASIK may not be ideal for presbyopia, but other forms of this surgery may improve your vision. PresbyLASIK and Monovision LASIK are 2 procedures your eye doctor may recommend as suitable surgeries to help lower your reliance on reading glasses

  • PresbyLASIK: During PresbyLASIK, your surgeon uses a specialized laser to reshape the cornea and improve close-up vision. Depending on your doctor’s recommendation, they will shape the cornea’s center for distance or near vision. The rest of the cornea is reshaped to improve vision from all distances. 
  • Monovision LASIK: Monovision LASIK involves correcting one eye for distance vision and having the other slightly blurry for near vision. This procedure is similar to traditional LASIK—your surgeon accesses the cornea and reshapes each for optimal sight. 

The available treatments for presbyopia may help improve your close-up vision, but make sure you speak to your optometrist first. They can determine your eligibility and refer you to a trusted surgeon. 

What Is Presbyopia? 

Presbyopia is a refractive error where your eyes struggle to see close-up images, leading to blurry vision. It’s a common condition for adults 40 and older. Presbyopia occurs because of your body’s natural aging process. 

You may notice some of the following symptoms when you develop presbyopia: 

  • Headache
  • Eye strain
  • Difficulty seeing nearby objects
  • The need to hold things further away to see them clearly, like a book

The cause of presbyopia isn’t like other refractive errors—this condition develops due to natural changes to your eye’s lens. This lens flexes, changing shape to help you see clearly when focusing on close-up tasks. As you age, the lens hardens and cannot adapt as easily, leading to blurry vision. 

How Can You Treat Presbyopia? 

The most common way to treat presbyopia is with reading glasses. If you don’t want a second pair of glasses, your optometrist may recommend multifocal lenses featuring multiple prescriptions in a single lens. 

If you don’t want to wear glasses to manage presbyopia—speak with your eye doctor about laser eye surgery. 

How Does LASIK Improve Blurry Vision? 

During LASIK, your surgeon reshapes your cornea to help improve your vision, reducing reliance on glasses and contact lenses. 

They begin by making a small incision in the cornea to access its inner layers, creating a flap. Your surgeon then removes precise amounts of corneal tissue to reshape the cornea. They then return the flap to its original position, where it heals without needing stitches. 

You can enjoy clear, comfortable vision after completely healing from surgery (taking approximately 2 to 3 months).

Can LASIK Work for Presbyopia? 

Laser eye surgery may not be ideal if you have presbyopia and no other vision-related problems, like another refractive error. Traditional LASIK is likely not a viable solution for your needs—it’s suited for other vision problems, and its results cannot prevent natural eye changes. However, there are surgeries available today to help improve your vision, such as PresbyLASIK and Monovision LASIK

The best thing to do is speak with your optometrist if you’re interested in laser eye surgery for presbyopia. They can recommend a treatment plan after completing an eye exam

A female optometrist using a medical device to examine the eyes of a senior patient and look for potential eye problems.

Book a Surgical Consultation Today

Presbyopia isn’t something to worry about—it’s a natural part of aging. However, you may not want to wear reading glasses to help you see. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re interested in laser eye surgery—they can determine your eligibility and recommend additional treatments for presbyopia. 

Contact us at Pinnacle Eyecare if you experience symptoms of presbyopia.

Written by Dr. Nicholas King-Smith

Dr. Nicholas King-Smith was born and raised in Wooster, Ohio. He is a Northeast Ohio native and by default a sad (but proud) Browns fan. Dr. King-Smith obtained his Bachelor of Science from Xavier University in May 2010. He received his optometric degree at the Ohio State University College of Optometry in May 2014.

Dr. King-Smith has been practicing in and around the Columbus area for the last 6 years.

Pinnacle Eyecare opened in the fall of 2020 and now serves the Columbus community with quality eye care and optometric services. Dr. King-Smith envisioned a practice with a unique, modern environment, where all the latest frames and comprehensive eye care would be available in one setting.

During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and their Bernese Mountain Dog. He loves traveling with his family, skiing, hiking, and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes.

He is a member of the Ohio Optometric Association, the American Optometric Association, and the Epsilon Psi Epsilon professional fraternity.

More Articles By Dr. Nicholas King-Smith
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax