Multifocal LASIK is new advanced LASIK procedure to treat myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism in people who have presbyopia as well. Presbyopia begins to occur in people in their forties and is the inability for the eye to focus from distance to near. It is going through clinical trials in the US at this time but has been performed for several years outside the US. Their results have been very good.
How Does Multifocal LASIK Work?
Multifocal LASIK is done a manner that changes the shape of the cornea to allow the eye to focus at different distances.
Conventional LASIK is designed to focus the eye at a single distance. This is for people younger than age forty. You can choose to focus both eyes at distance and wear reading glasses or monovision (one eye focused at distance usually the dominant eye and one eye focused at near the non-dominant eye) if you are of presbyopic age.
Different Types of Multifocal LASIK
Multifocal LASIK is still being investigated and different platforms or treatment design patterns are being studied.
Multifocal LASIK with the Central Cornea for Near Vision Correction
This multifocal LASIK is performed in an aspheric design with a steeper center for near vision and flatter in the peripheral cornea for distance and intermediate vision.
Multifocal LASIK with the Central Cornea for Distance Vision Correction
This multifocal LASIK is performed in an aspheric design with a flatter center for distance vision and a steeper peripheral cornea for intermediate and distance vision.
Other Considerations of Multifocal LASIK Correction
Some eye surgeons feel that whether you are nearsighted or farsighted makes a difference on which type of multifocal LASIK works the best.
Other eye surgeons prefer central cornea near because it provides better near vision.
Some eye surgeons prefer central cornea for distance as it is easier to reverse.
Modified Monovision with Multifocal LASIK
With modified monovision, the dominant eye is done with customized conventional LASIK for clear distance vision and the non-dominant eye is done with a multifocal LAISK pattern of which ever type the eye surgeon prefers.
Who is a Candidate for Multifocal LASIK?
People who desire LASIK vision correction and are at the age where they are beginning to develop presbyopia or older are candidates. They should meet the same criteria as conventional LASIK with healthy eyes, a stable refractive error, have no signs of any eye disease especially cataracts, and do not have any significant dry eyes.
Multifocal LASIK has a very good track record outside the US with around 90% or better of people being glasses free. Research is still being done with which type of multifocal LASIK works better and improvement of LASIK pattern designs.