• Can I wear one contact lens for reading instead of glasses?


    Question:

    I am 51 years old and farsighted and need reading glasses to read. A couple of my coworkers with the same condition see the same eye doctor. Their doctor suggested they only wear one contact lens. They wear it on their dominant eye and it is for reading. Both said it took a couple of weeks to adjust but now they think nothing of it and see fine, both at a distance and up close. They change the contact once a month and forget about it. No glasses. Sounds almost too good to be true but they swear by it and wouldn't change a thing. Should I go to this doctor and try the same thing?


    Answer:

    What you are describing is called monovision. Optometrists have used this for many years with some success. Ophthalmologists can create the same effect with contact lenses, LASIK, or intraocular lenses. One eye is focused for near and the other for distance. Not everyone is a candidate, and some people are unable to adjust to this type of vision. Normally, the human brain fuses the images created by each eye into a single image. Not everyone has what doctors call the “neuroplasticity” to adapt to this type of vision. Some jobs require binocular vision (using both eyes together simultaneously), which is lost when switched to monovision. It is most successful when the dominant eye is used for distance vision.

    An ophthalmologist can do a thorough evaluation of your eyes and recommend the appropriate course of action.