Monovision in Skokie and Chicago, IL

As we get older, the lenses of our eyes become less flexible, making it more difficult for them to focus on up-close vision, such as reading a menu or newspaper or seeing the screen on a smartphone. This condition is known as presbyopia, and it is a near-universal condition after people pass their 45th birthday.

Reading glasses are one option for correcting presbyopia, but many people get tired of the constant need to put on and take off these glasses throughout the day. Also, when correcting refractive errors with LASIK or PRK or when placing an intraocular lens for cataract surgery, patients often still need to wear reading glasses for up-close work.

Monovision is an option for people who wish to reduce their dependence on reading glasses as they age.

What Is Monovision?

The concept of monovision — regardless of whether it is done with contact lenses, refractive surgery, or IOLs for cataract surgery — is to use one eye (typically the patient’s dominant eye) for distance vision, while the other eye is used for near vision. The brain integrates near and far vision. This offers the patient an extended range of vision without needing to wear corrective lenses.

  • Alcon PanOptix
  • Tecnis Multifocal

How Does Monovision Work?

Usually, monovision corrects vision in the dominant eye for distance while the other eye is left nearsighted for close vision. The eyes still work in unison, allowing clearer vision at both distances. About 70% of people adapt well to Monovision.

Many people adapt completely to this vision correction technique with Dr. Sondheimer. The brain gets used to seeing well both near and far. The brain will seamlessly process this vision.

Once the eye’s natural lens has been removed, a new, man-made intraocular lens (IOL) is used to replace it. There are many IOLs that will usually serve patients well for distance vision, but patients must still wear glasses for reading or for good vision at near.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Monovision?

The advantages of monovision are the freedom from reading glasses in cases of presbyopia. It also enables cataract patients to avoid some of the common side effects that can occur with multifocal intraocular lens implants for cataract surgery, such as halos around lights and/or glare at night.

About 30% of people have trouble adjusting to monovision. That’s why Dr. Sondheimer tests his patients carefully for the ability to adapt to monovision with contact lenses first, prior to recommending monovision with LASIK or cataract surgery.

Is Monovision Correction Painful?

Correcting for monovision isn’t any different than the regular procedure, whether that is LASIK, PRK, or cataract surgery. These procedures all have very little pain or discomfort afterward.

What Happens if I Find Monovision Doesn’t Work for Me?

If a patient is interested in monovision, Dr. Sondheimer demonstrates monovision prior to recommending it. With the Light Adjustable Lens Implant, Monovision can be created in the lens implant after it has been implanted in your eye. Rare patients have not been satisfied with Monovision and have needed to have their vision returned to both eyes for distance vision with Light Adjustments, PRK, Lasik, or Lens Implant Replacement.

Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Monovision Correction Surgery?

Ideal candidates for monovision correction surgery (PRK, LASIK, or IOLs) are adults who want to achieve high-quality vision without needing glasses or contacts. If you cannot wear bifocals or have difficulty using contact lenses, monovision correction surgery could be the right procedure for you. Most patients who undergo monovision correction surgery are over 40 and in overall good health.

If you are pregnant or nursing, you may not be recommended for monovision correction surgery. Other health conditions, such as advanced glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, may not qualify you as a candidate for monovision correction surgery.

Are There Any Side Effects with Monovision Correction Surgery?

Just like any other surgery, monovision correction surgery does come with several side effects, which can include glares in your vision, blurriness, and discomfort. These side effects are common and should disappear on their own within a few days after your treatment.

Other risk factors with monovision correction surgery may include:

  • Poor depth perception
  • Difficulty seeing intermediate distances
  • The need to still wear glasses
  • Inflammation

While monovision correction surgery is safe and these complications are rare, Dr. Sondheimer will monitor your healing progress following your surgery through frequent follow-up appointments to ensure you are not at risk for any of the above conditions.

How Much Does Monovision Correction Cost?

The cost of your monovision correction surgery will vary depending on your eye's health, location, and surgeon’s experience. However, the average cost of monovision correction surgery in the United States can range between $1,500 to $3,000 per eye. If you have any questions regarding financing, contact us today.

What Is Recovery from Monovision Correction Surgery Like?

Recovery from monovision correction surgery involves very little time. Most vision correction surgeries only require patients to sleep through the night of their surgery. Their vision should have improved when they woke up the following morning. The day after your treatment, you can return to your normal routine. However, being cautious about rubbing or touching your eyes and using shampoo or face wash is essential to avoid complications. Your vision may still be a little foggy while your eyes heal and adjust, but within a week, you will be able to enjoy your newly improved vision.

See What Our Patients Are Saying!

"Dr. Sondheimer is very knowledgeable and approachable. I appreciated that he took the time to answer my questions and concerns. He was never rushed or distracted. My surgery went well and I would recommend Dr. Sondheimer to anyone."

- Faina R.

"From the moment I met Dr. Sondheimer and his staff at both offices, I felt I was in good hands and cared for. The two Toric Lens Implant surgeries went well and I am seeing better than ever. The gals at the Skokie Office, Kathy, Ana, and Galina were so lovely and helpful. Dr. Sondheimer prepared me each step of the way as to what will occur on the days of surgery. He was very availble if I had any questions or problems. I had a very rewarding experience."

- Geraldine G.

To read more of our patient testimonials, please click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Contraindications of Monovision?

Monovision can be an effective way to treat presbyopia. However, there are specific factors that can disqualify some patients from treatment. 

These factors include the following:

  • Having high visual demands - Patients who have high visual demands, such as being an athlete or professional driver, may not be the best candidates for Monovision. This is because these people require very precise depth perception, which can be negatively affected by Monovision. 
  • Having a specific eye condition - People who have a certain eye condition, such as eye misalignment or lazy eye, might not be eligible for Monovision.  These eye conditions can interfere with the brain’s ability to adapt to Monovision and can result in discomfort and reduced visual quality. 
  • Having a certain medical condition - Anyone with a medical condition, such as uncontrolled diabetes, severe dry eye, glaucoma, or macular degeneration, may be at higher risk of experiencing complications. Furthermore, people who have undergone LASIK or PRK surgery can be prevented from being suitable candidates. 

These contraindications are why it is important to consult a professional eye doctor and undergo a comprehensive eye exam. This can help tailor the safest and most effective treatment plan for your needs.

How Does Monovision Affect Depth Perception?

Monovision can affect depth perception in many ways. Since it affects how the brain processes visual information, it may also affect your ability to gauge depth perception properly. Activities such as driving or playing sports require additional practice in order to reestablish proper depth perception.

Can Monovision be Achieved With LASIK?

Yes, Monovision can be achieved through LASIK surgery. It can adjust the focus in one eye for near vision and the other eye for distance vision, which can achieve Monovisionv. It is important to discuss your goals with a qualified LASIK surgeon.

Can I Switch Between Monovision and Full Correction?

Yes, individuals who choose to undergo mono vision correction can typically switch back to full correction if desired or necessary. This flexibility allows for proper adjustment based on specific activities and preferences. However, it is important to note that it may take some time for your eyes to readjust to the new correction, so it's equally important to discuss any changes in your vision with your eye care doctor.

Can Monovision Be Reversed?

In most cases, Monovision is reversible, particularly when it is achieved with contact lenses. If you find that your new vision is not right for you or your lifestyle or if you experience a significant visual disturbance or discomfort, your eye doctor can easily modify your prescription or try a different type of correction.

Is Monovision Covered By Insurance?

Coverage for monovision correction will depend on your insurance carrier and the type of policy you have. While some insurance plans will cover all or at least part of vision correction, certain types of corrective measures may not be covered. It is best if you consult your insurance company to understand what your policy covers before scheduling an appointment.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Sondheimer, who has earned a reputation as a leading Chicago AcrySof ReSTOR provider, has helped many patients achieve optimal vision correction results using a range of highly sophisticated lens implants. In addition to Tecnis Multifocal and ReSTOR, Dr. Sondheimer also offers Crystalens, the only FDA-approved accommodating lens implant. He is also a skilled LASIK surgeon and surgeon. Call 847.677.2794 to schedule a consultation with Chicago ophthalmologist Dr. Stuart Sondheimer.

Get in Touch

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only.

Accessibility Toolbar

Scroll to Top