Can You Have Laser Eye Surgery For Reading?

3 June 2021

By Author: Amir Hamid

Are you finding it harder and harder to focus on the words on the page? Getting headaches after trying to read for long periods? If so, it could be that your eyes are feeling the effects of age, and you’re starting to lose your reading vision.


Over the years, the eyes lose their muscular power, making it harder to focus at close distances. This condition is known as presbyopia. It’s an age-related refractive condition that results in a loss of focus up close. The lens in the eye becomes less flexible, which usually means that you’ll need glasses to read.


Laser Eye Surgery for Reading Better


Presbyopia can occur in people who otherwise have good vision. Still, it can also occur in people already affected by other optical conditions such as astigmatismmyopia, and hyperopia. Luckily, vision correction treatments available at Optegra can help correct this very common issue.


It is an age-related vision condition that affects the ability to see close objects clearly. It is a natural part of the aging process that typically becomes noticeable in adults in their mid-40s to early 50s. It occurs when the crystalline lens inside the eye, which adjusts its shape to focus on objects at various distances, loses its flexibility over time. This loss of elasticity makes it increasingly difficult for the eye to focus light directly on the retina when looking at close objects, resulting in blurred vision at near distances.


The onset of presbyopia is gradual, meaning its effects on vision are often not immediately noticeable. Early on, individuals may need to hold reading material farther away to see it clearly. Even this adjustment may not suffice as the condition progresses, and reading small print, especially in low-light conditions, can become increasingly challenging. Because these changes occur slowly over time, many people might not recognise the signs of presbyopia as a condition needing correction; they may attribute the changes to temporary eye strain or fatigue.

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    What Are the Symptoms of Presbyopia?


    There are several common symptoms that people with presbyopia suffer from. If the following issues sound familiar, you may need to consider your options or book a consultation with Optegra to learn how we can help.

    · Difficulty focusing on things in your close range

    · Headaches or eye pain when reading or doing close-up work

    · Fatigue when focusing for long periods

    · Relying on brighter or increased lighting

    · Having to hold books, mobile phones, and other reading materials at arm’s length to focus on them properly


    The onset of presbyopia usually occurs at 40 and becomes more noticeable after that. By the age of 60, many people will have lost the elasticity in the lens that enables them to focus on objects up close.


    Can Reading Vision Be Improved?

     One of the most common options for people with reading vision problems is to use reading glasses specially designed to help the lens focus at short distances.


    As reading glasses are only practical for short distances, they can be a nuisance. Some people wear them on a chain around their necks so that they can easily access them. Others carry them around in a case. But constantly putting them on and taking them off just to read a recipe or an article in the paper can be a pain.


    While reading glasses are a widely adopted solution for presbyopia, offering a convenient and non-invasive way to correct near vision problems, they are not the only option for those seeking to improve their reading vision. Contact lenses present an alternative that can correct presbyopia and reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses. We have some interesting facts and considerations about using contact lenses vs. a permanent solution like laser eye surgery.


    Indeed, laser eye surgery is a good option for those who want to break free from the hassles of wearing contacts or glasses permanently.

    Can Laser Eye Surgery Correct Presbyopia?


    Thanks to developments in technology and surgical procedures, several alternatives are now available that offer a more permanent solution to reading vision problems.

    Laser eye surgery has a very impressive success rate for correcting reading vision. Using a precision laser, your surgeon will adjust your cornea to correct any visual impairments you may have.


    At Optegra, we offer PRESBYOND LASIK eye surgery, which allows independence for activities mid-range (computer vision), near (close up 30-40 cm), and far distance. PRESBYOND works seamlessly to provide excellent vision for all tasks.


    How Does Laser Eye Surgery Work for Patients with Presbyopia?


    PRESBYOND® uses a wavefront laser to sculpt the patient’s corneas into the optimal shape for blended vision. This allows for full focus – regardless of whether objects are close by, far away, or somewhere in between – and should render the patient spectacle-free.


    PRESBYOND® works by sculpting the two corneas into different optical states. The dominant eye is shaped to focus on distant and intermediate objects, while the less dominant eye is lasered to focus on near and intermediate objects. The brain then blends these two vision profiles – allowing for perfect focus for all distance ranges.


    The PRESBYOND® procedure is very similar to LASIK. It is painless and usually lasts no longer than half an hour – with the lasering of each eye typically taking five-ten minutes.

    Once anaesthetic eye drops have been applied, your ophthalmologist will use a femtosecond laser to create a thin, round flap on the cornea – enabling access to the stroma, which is the underlying part of the cornea.


    The ophthalmologist will then use an excimer laser to reshape the stroma – repeating the process for both eyes.


    The recovery period is relatively straightforward. Patients may experience a feeling of grit in the eyes or a heightened light sensitivity, but these symptoms should last no longer than 24-48 hours.

    PRESBYOND® patients must avoid swimming and heavy exercise for around a month.

    Since PRESBYOND® requires the brain to process visual stimuli differently, there may be a short adjustment period while you adapt to your new vision. However, this should only last for a few weeks.


    Another option is lens replacement surgery, an innovative treatment that can correct a wide range of visual problems and treat and prevent the development of cataracts.

    Ultimately, the right type of laser eye surgery for you will depend on multiple factors, including your age, vision goals, and lifestyle. A free consultation with one of our experts can help you learn more about the best laser eye surgery.


    Learn more inside our info hub about how laser eye surgery works and the importance of aftercare following laser eye surgery.


    Arrange For a Free Consultation at Optegra

    If you’re having problems with your reading vision or finding that your reliance on your reading glasses is starting to become an issue, see us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

    Our surgeons are NHS-trained and Fellows of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists or equivalent organizations. They’re some of the best in the world, and you’ll be working with the same surgeon throughout your treatment. We have clinics and hospitals all over the UK, including our flagship London hospital, so a treatment centre is sure to be close to you.

    Amir Hamid Headshot

    By Author: Amir Hamid

    Mr. Amir Hamid is a Clinical Lead for Vision Correction and an expert refractive surgeon, based in London.

    Medically Reviewed Date: 27th February 2024


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