5 Things To Know About Monovision Contacts
What are Monovision Contact Lenses?
“Mono” means single or one. So, you may think that monovision contacts only correct one vision problem, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. In fact, monovision contacts are a pair of lenses, each with a different prescription.
You wear one contact lens in your dominant eye to see far away and one contact lens in your non-dominant eye to see close up . These separate prescriptions help your eyes work together to achieve clear vision at all distances.
The following are five things to know about these multitasking contact lenses.
1. Monovision Contacts Can Help People With Presbyopia
If you’re over 40 and notice that you can’t see things close up as well as you used to, consider monovision contact lenses.
Blurry vision after age 40 often means you have presbyopia, a condition that happens naturally as you age. The lenses inside your eyes thicken and become less flexible, making it harder for your eyes to focus on close objects. Monovision contact lenses could give you the clear vision you want, particularly if you are also farsighted.
People with presbyopia and farsightedness have trouble changing focus between near and far. That’s why the two different prescriptions in a pair of monovision contacts can help. These lenses allow wearers with presbyopia to see better close up and far away. They do this without readers, bifocals or progressive lenses.
Monovision vs. Binocular Vision
Both of your eyes are constantly sending information to your brain. Binocular vision is how we use visual information from both eyes. The brain takes the separate information from each eye and combines it to turn the information into the things we see.
Even people with good binocular vision have one dominant eye and one non-dominant eye. This doesn’t mean the dominant eye sees better. It means the brain may prefer or use vision from one eye over the other.
Monovision contact lenses can help improve vision for those with presbyopia and farsightedness or astigmatism. They do this by correcting distance vision in the dominant eye and near vision in the non-dominant eye. As a wearer becomes accustomed to the two different prescriptions, the eyes will eventually team up as they do with binocular vision.
2. You Can’t Self-Diagnose
Monovision contact lenses aren’t like reading glasses you can buy off the rack. With readers, you can try on different strengths and choose the pair that works for you. If you want monovision contacts, you need to see your eye doctor.
Your eye doctor will make sure a monovision contact lens prescription is the best solution for you. If so, they will prescribe the right contact lens for each eye. Your eye doctor will also make sure you have the correct prescriptions for your monovision contact lenses as your vision changes.
3. There are Side Effects of Monovision Contacts
Once you get your monovision contacts, it can take one to two weeks to get used to them. You may experience some side effects of monovision contacts, such as things far away looking blurry. Your brain will get used to each eye focusing differently, and your vision should improve the longer you wear your monovision lenses.
4. Monovision Contact Lenses Could be Right for You
Consider the following reasons you may want to try monovision lenses:
- Standard single-vision contact lenses are generally used for monovision lenses. But most contact lenses on the market can be made into monovision contacts. Standard single-vision contacts are less expensive than multifocal contacts – another option for people with presbyopia. Even disposable contact lenses can be monovision contacts.
- Monovision contact lenses can be good for people who experience dry eye or discomfort wearing multifocal lenses.
- Monovision contacts can be an affordable and effective solution for people who wear contact lenses to correct astigmatism (blurry vision at all distances).
- Monovision contacts can be a better choice than bifocal or multifocal contact lenses. This can be especially true if you have a strong prescription for nearsightedness or farsightedness.
- Even if you wear monovision contact lenses, your eyes can still work together as they do with natural binocular vision.
5. Monovision Contacts Aren’t for Everyone
There are some drawbacks to monovision contact lenses to consider, including:
- Monovision contacts don’t provide “perfect” vision. You can have good, functional vision both near and far. But you may have to give up some clarity.
- Monovision contact lenses may cause glare or halos at night.
- Your depth perception will probably be reduced.
- If you’ve never worn glasses before, it may be harder for you to adjust to monovision lenses than for someone who is or has been a glasses wearer.
- It can be harder to adapt to monovision contacts as you age and need a stronger prescription.
If you’re interested in monovision contact lenses, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. They can help ensure you get the best vision correction for your needs.