Traditional LASIK may not achieve results for those with presbyopia, but there are alternative procedures that may be able to help.

LASIK is considered one of the leading and standard corrective vision surgeries you can have to get perfect 20/20 vision — even if you weren’t born with genetically perfect eyesight.

While not everyone is a candidate, many people who are nearsighted, farsighted, and even those with astigmatism may all enjoy a glasses- or contacts-free life with LASIK.

But many other vision concerns exist. For example, presbyopia is a condition characterized by struggling to read or properly focus on materials that are up close. Anyone who’s had to hold a menu at arm’s length knows what this feels like.

While presbyopia is a natural part of aging, many older adults might wonder if LASIK can help correct eyesight like it does for people with many other vision issues.

While some people might get benefits by undergoing LASIK for their presbyopia, it’s not a guaranteed cure-all for everyone with the diagnosis.

Traditional LASIK is used for other vision issues like being nearsighted or farsighted. It’s usually not recommended for people diagnosed with presbyopia.

This is because LASIK is usually used to correct issues with the cornea. Presbyopia is caused by a rigid inner lens, which is often a natural part of aging.

Still, it’s always best to speak with an eye doctor to ensure that you’re a good candidate for any surgery, including LASIK. Alternative surgeries for presbyopia might include:

  • Conductive keratoplasty: In this procedure, radiofrequency energy is used to change the cornea’s curvature. However, effectiveness can diminish over time.
  • Refractive lens exchange: During this procedure, the natural lens is replaced with a synthetic one, often called an intraocular lens implant.

Monovision LASIK

Monovision LASIK is a type of monovision correction that might be beneficial for people with presbyopia.

This type of surgery mimics contacts or glasses prescriptions for presbyopia. Rather than adjusting each cornea to achieve the same vision, each eye is corrected using independent measurements.

One eye may be corrected for up-close vision while the other is adjusted to support seeing at a distance — usually the dominant one. While this might sound strange, the brain is adept at interpreting information that your eyes relay. It allows you to adapt to your new normal.

If you are considering monovision LASIK, you may want to ask your optometrist about monovision contact lenses. This will allow you to see how your brain reacts to this change of information. Some people may find that their eyes cannot work together in this way.

For people who have monovision LASIK done, adjustment periods are usually a few weeks. More importantly, the need for reading glasses is often completely eliminated.


Similar to monovision LASIK, presbyLASIK is a procedure that mimics monovision by creating multifocal corneal corrections.

Unlike monovision LASIK, these adjustments are done on both eyes so that you get unified vision rather than relying on one eye for near vision and the other for far vision.

What is the best surgery for presbyopia?

Ultimately, the best surgery for you will depend on the severity of your diagnosis and what your eye doctor prescribes.

However, an alternative option for people with presbyopia is monovision LASIK. This modified type of LASIK is meant to mimic monovision contacts or glasses. One eye is corrected for near vision, while the other is adjusted for distance viewing.

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Costs can vary depending on where you choose to have your procedure done and if it’s covered by your insurance. The average range is between $2,000–3,000 per eye for a total of $4,000–6,000.

Monovision LASIK and presbyLASIK are not guaranteed for perfect vision. Some people may still need reading glasses, even shortly after surgery.

LASIK procedures are permanent. Yet, similar to other forms of LASIK, it doesn’t prevent any vision loss from progressing.

Most people can expect to have around 12 years of steady vision before acuity (sharpness) declines.

Presbyopia is a degenerative vision condition that’s common with aging. It’s caused by rigidity with the lens in your eyes. Monovision contacts and reading glasses are nonsurgical options to treat the condition.

While not everyone is a good candidate for the procedures, many people have experienced long-term vision benefits from monovision LASIK and presbyLASIK.