Monovision is a method whereby some people can avoid the need for bifocal eyeglasses or contact lenses which usually
arises somewhere between the ages of 40 and 45. The basic principal is quite straightforward – the patient is fit with
two different contact lens strengths – one eye (the dominant eye) is given a lens that gives good focus for distance vision,
and the other eye (the non-dominant eye) is given a lens that gives good vision for near to intermediate ranges.
Monovision doesn't work for everyone. Some people are unable to adapt to using one eye for distance viewing and one
for close viewing. Studies suggest these non-adaptors may constitute approximately 20% of the population. However,
when paired with the right person, it can be a great fit. Monovision is a blend of near and distance vision, and is
ideal for people with an active lifestyle. However, there is a caveat to consider: since it is a compromise, most
people's vision isn't perfectly crisp up close or far away. For this reason, people in certain occupations should
not use monovision. One such example is airline pilots – the national transportation safety board implicated the use
of monovision contact lenses as a possible factor in a commercial airline crash at La Guardia in 1996.
Most people who opt for monovision go through a brief period of adaptation as the brain "learns" to see with the
eye best suited for the task. If you ask your doctor about monovision, after determining which eye is your "dominant eye",
they will likely provide you with a trial pair of contacts that you will wear over the course of a week or so, just to
see if monovision works for you. You may initially incur blurred vision and mild headache, but unless you are a
"non-adaptor" these symptoms shoul fade rapidly. If not, return to your eye-doctor and ask to try one of the great
options in bifocal and multifocal contact lenses.