March 30, 2009
Ask the Doctor:
Q: Options to reading glasses?
A: As we get older, the lens inside our eye loses
it difficult to see up close. Non-surgical options can help, such as
bifocal contact lenses or monovision contact lenses, where one eye is
corrected for distance and the other eye is corrected for near vision.
Surgical options include monovision procedures using Lasik, PRK
(photorefractive keratectomy) and CK (conductive keratoplasty), or
refractive lens exchange (RLE), in which sophisticated intraocular
lenses replace your natural lens to improve both distance and near
vision. The latest generation of dynamically focused intraocular lenses
can mimic the flexibility of our own lens when it was young.
Q: I want to have Lasik but how do I know if it’s right
A: While Lasik is one of the most common procedures
sophisticated pre-operative screening will determine if Lasik is right
for you. Patients with certain prescriptions, corneal features and
vision needs may do better with options such as PRK, implantable
contact lenses; which can be removed and replaced, RLE or nonsurgical
options such as vision therapy, which are designed to strengthen eye
muscles to work in a more coordinated manner. Lasik surgery has
advanced and now surgeons use two lasers instead of one, as in earlier
forms of the procedure. This combination of technologies has resulted
in superior safety and vision results, which in 2007, led NASA and the
U.S. Air Force to approve “all-laser” Lasik for its pilots and
The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to
convey medical advice. The San Francisco Chronicle, SFGate.com and its
contributors are not responsible for any actions or inaction on your
part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a
physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or
Ella G. Faktorovich, M.D., is a corneal and refractive
Francisco and founder of the Pacific Vision Institute. Go to
for more information about clinical care and
research at PVI. The questions above are commonly asked of Faktorovich.
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