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Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? #2919367 12/03/19 10:59 AM
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Singing Shortstop Offline OP
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Hi all,

I've had terrible nearsightedness most of my life. Diopter was a 14 in left eye and 12 in right eye. (I couldn't read the Big "E" on the eye chart!) I'm 56, and my eye doc said my cataracts were getting worse. So I had cataract surgery and intraocular lenses were implanted in my eyes, which corrected the majority of my nearsightedness. Now my diopter is about a 3 in both eyes. They did it this way so they could "fine tune" me to 20/20 through LASIK, which I'm supposed to have before the end of the year.

Now my eye doc is giving me options. Do I want him to correct my distance to 20/20 and always use reading glasses for up close (reading music, computer screens, etc)? Or do I want him to correct with "monovision" where one eye will do distance and the other do up close? I'm currently using monovision contact lenses as a trial for a week to see if I can get used to it.

Anyone else have a similar situation? Anyone using monovision to play piano? How does it affect you? Thanks for any direction or advice you can give.


Hugh Poland
1924 Knabe 6'4" Grand
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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919382 12/03/19 12:09 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline
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Originally Posted by Singing Shortstop
Hi all,

I've had terrible nearsightedness most of my life. Diopter was a 14 in left eye and 12 in right eye. (I couldn't read the Big "E" on the eye chart!) I'm 56, and my eye doc said my cataracts were getting worse. So I had cataract surgery and intraocular lenses were implanted in my eyes, which corrected the majority of my nearsightedness. Now my diopter is about a 3 in both eyes. They did it this way so they could "fine tune" me to 20/20 through LASIK, which I'm supposed to have before the end of the year.

Now my eye doc is giving me options. Do I want him to correct my distance to 20/20 and always use reading glasses for up close (reading music, computer screens, etc)? Or do I want him to correct with "monovision" where one eye will do distance and the other do up close? I'm currently using monovision contact lenses as a trial for a week to see if I can get used to it.

Anyone else have a similar situation? Anyone using monovision to play piano? How does it affect you? Thanks for any direction or advice you can give.


I got presbyopia at a very young age, and I've been wearing monovision contacts for a few years now. I would say that while it's not perfect, it is a better option FOR ME than the alternative reading glasses.

For low/dim light situations, a source of light is still very helpful. So for piano, a piano light will make reading much more comfortable. I'm still finding that for far distances, my monovision contacts are still lacking. Reading road signs at night, for example, is difficult.

One thing I would suggest is maybe trial the monovision contact lenses for more than a week, to see how you like them or not. One week seems a bit on the short side to me.

I think you'll soon realize that monovision is a compromise. Your vision will likely not be as crisp and clear as if you just wore near-sighted glasses for seeing far, and reading glasses for seeing near. However, you're afforded the convenience of not having to remove and replace glasses when you're switching from near to far sight. For example, I like to multi-task and watch tv while I'm surfing the internet on my iPad. Without monovision contacts, can you imagine how I would be able to switch between my tv (further distance) and iPad (close distance)? It wouldn't work. Also, think of the small letters on your smartphone. I can't be bothered whipping out a pair of reading glasses every time someone sends me an email or WhatsApp message. That could be an infinite number of times a day! Ok, infinite is an exaggeration but I think you get my point.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 12/03/19 12:13 PM.

Kawai K-500
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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919386 12/03/19 12:13 PM
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Michael Glenn Williams Offline
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I got monovision Laser eye surgery 10-15 years ago and have been extremely happy with it. I wore contacts and glasses for all my life but they were always a great hassle and with glasses I would get headaches at times. I don't have any trouble sight reading music on the music stand of the piano. Hope this helps!

Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2919387 12/03/19 12:17 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Are mono vision contact lenses also called multi-focal contacts? Because I am wearing multi-focal contact lenses for both presbyopia and myopia, and they work great. I leave them in for days at a time, never have had a pair of reading glasses, and use these contacts for both driving and playing piano. A brilliant invention.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2919390 12/03/19 12:22 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Are mono vision contact lenses also called multi-focal contacts? Because I am wearing multi-focal contact lenses for both presbyopia and myopia, and they work great. I leave them in for days at a time, never have had a pair of reading glasses, and use these contacts for both driving and playing piano. A brilliant invention.


They're not exactly the same thing. Multifocal contacts are contact lenses for presbyopia. Monovision is when one eye is fitted (with a multifocal lens) for near vision, and the other eye is fitted (again with a multifocal lens) for far vision, so when both eyes are working together, a person can see both near and far optimally. Monovision is also to correct presbyopia.

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/what-is-monovision-blended-vision



Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 12/03/19 12:24 PM.

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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919397 12/03/19 12:40 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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So why would mono vision be better than multifocal? Have those using mono vision tried multifocals before?


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919398 12/03/19 12:41 PM
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I re-read my initial post and saw I kept using the phrase “monovision contacts”. I think that’s not entirely correct. It should be “monovision with multifocal contacts.” Sorry for the confusion.


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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2919404 12/03/19 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I re-read my initial post and saw I kept using the phrase “monovision contacts”. I think that’s not entirely correct. It should be “monovision with multifocal contacts.” Sorry for the confusion.

So you are wearing multifocal contacts but after mono vision surgery? Bur what does the mono vision surgery do in this case? Why not wear multifocal contacts without the mono vision surgery?

Or was your vision not correctable with contacts before the surgery?


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2919407 12/03/19 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
So why would mono vision be better than multifocal? Have those using mono vision tried multifocals before?


In the beginning, I tried “straight” multifocal contacts but they didn’t work for me at all. My prescription at the time was something like -6.00 (left), - 6.50 (right). So I figured I’d add 1 to each contact lens because my presbyopia was just starting. I did this by myself, buying contacts online. I could neither see near nor far properly. So I figured multifocal lenses must not work for me and I went back to nearsighted contacts with a pair of reading glasses.

Then at my next optometrist’s appointment, I told him of my experiment with multifocal contacts, and he told me, “No, no, no, that’s not how you do it!” He then told me about monovision, and he fitted me with multifocal contacts using monovision. So my left contact lens strength was optimized for seeing far, so the add number is only 1. My right contact lens was optimized for seeing near, so my add number was 2. He also reduced my prescription strength in my right lens from -6.50 to -6.00. He didn’t pull these numbers out of a hat. He actually checked with his gadgets that my left eye was seeing the best with that particular prescription for far distances (i.e., the chart on the wall) and that my right eye was seeing the best with that particular prescription for seeing near distances (i.e., a handheld chart).

But for me it gets even more complicated because I’ve got 2 other issues with my eyes, one of which is astigmatism. I actually require a pair of straight astigmatism glasses for night driving, because they don’t make contacts that can correct presbyopia, myopia (nearsightedness) AND astigmatism. They only make contacts that correct 2 of the above.


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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2919410 12/03/19 01:08 PM
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WeakLeftHand Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I re-read my initial post and saw I kept using the phrase “monovision contacts”. I think that’s not entirely correct. It should be “monovision with multifocal contacts.” Sorry for the confusion.

So you are wearing multifocal contacts but after mono vision surgery? Bur what does the mono vision surgery do in this case? Why not wear multifocal contacts without the mono vision surgery?

Or was your vision not correctable with contacts before the surgery?


Monovision is a concept where you correct vision by optimizing one eye for far distances, and one eye for close distances. You can apply monovision in the context of laser surgery or contact lenses.

Try Googling the term monovision and a lot will be written on it. I’m probably not explaining it well. I’m not an optometrist or ophthalmologist, I’m just a person with a lot of eye issues lol.

I haven’t had laser eye surgery yet. I’m actually waiting to get cataracts (which I don’t have yet), so they can implant a lens inside my eye, and fix it up with monovision LASIK just like the OP. I know, I’m weird hoping for cataracts but don’t we all eventually get them?



Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 12/03/19 01:12 PM.

Kawai K-500
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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2919411 12/03/19 01:14 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I re-read my initial post and saw I kept using the phrase “monovision contacts”. I think that’s not entirely correct. It should be “monovision with multifocal contacts.” Sorry for the confusion.

So you are wearing multifocal contacts but after mono vision surgery? Bur what does the mono vision surgery do in this case? Why not wear multifocal contacts without the mono vision surgery?

Or was your vision not correctable with contacts before the surgery?


Monovision is a concept where you correct vision by optimizing one eye for far distances, and one eye for close distances. You can apply monovision in the context of laser surgery or contact lenses.

Try Googling the term monovision and a lot will be written on it. I’m probably not explaining it well. I’m not an optometrist or ophthalmologist, I’m just a person with a lot of eye issues lol.

Thanks for explaining. Finally clicked. I think I might ask about mono vision in my next optometry appointment, although I'm hesitant to screw things up if it's already working now.

BTW, I have a theory that my presbyopia cured my astigmatism. It used to be so severe, I had to wear semi-rigid contacts. But these last 10 years since I started developing presbyopia, none of my optometrists have ever mentioned astigmatism. It's as if it went away.

EDIT: I've emailed my brother, a corneal surgeon with some questions. I never thought to ask before since I thought mono vision was a surgery thing. I didn't realize it could be done with contact lenses too. Thanks again.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2919420 12/03/19 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
I re-read my initial post and saw I kept using the phrase “monovision contacts”. I think that’s not entirely correct. It should be “monovision with multifocal contacts.” Sorry for the confusion.

So you are wearing multifocal contacts but after mono vision surgery? Bur what does the mono vision surgery do in this case? Why not wear multifocal contacts without the mono vision surgery?

Or was your vision not correctable with contacts before the surgery?


Monovision is a concept where you correct vision by optimizing one eye for far distances, and one eye for close distances. You can apply monovision in the context of laser surgery or contact lenses.

Try Googling the term monovision and a lot will be written on it. I’m probably not explaining it well. I’m not an optometrist or ophthalmologist, I’m just a person with a lot of eye issues lol.

Thanks for explaining. Finally clicked. I think I might ask about mono vision in my next optometry appointment, although I'm hesitant to screw things up if it's already working now.

BTW, I have a theory that my presbyopia cured my astigmatism. It used to be so severe, I had to wear semi-rigid contacts. But these last 10 years since I started developing presbyopia, none of my optometrists have ever mentioned astigmatism. It's as if it went away.

EDIT: I've emailed my brother, a corneal surgeon with some questions. I never thought to ask before since I thought mono vision was a surgery thing. I didn't realize it could be done with contact lenses too. Thanks again.


You’re a lucky man to have lost your astigmatism! Mine is only getting worse... frown

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 12/03/19 01:38 PM.

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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919422 12/03/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Thanks for explaining. Finally clicked. I think I might ask about mono vision in my next optometry appointment, although I'm hesitant to screw things up if it's already working now.

BTW, I have a theory that my presbyopia cured my astigmatism. It used to be so severe, I had to wear semi-rigid contacts. But these last 10 years since I started developing presbyopia, none of my optometrists have ever mentioned astigmatism. It's as if it went away.

EDIT: I've emailed my brother, a corneal surgeon with some questions. I never thought to ask before since I thought mono vision was a surgery thing. I didn't realize it could be done with contact lenses too. Thanks again.
You’re a lucky man to have lost your astigmatism! Mine is only getting worse... frown

I don't know if this is possible. Just asked my brother if it is possible my presbyopia did something to my previous astigmatism.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919448 12/03/19 03:35 PM
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I saw that you said you were very nearsighted and already got cataract surgery to correct your nearsightedness.

My friend is a cataract eye surgeon, for nearsighted people his recommendation is to get the "-250" lenses, so that after cataract surgery, you continue to wear nearsighted eye glasses (possibly a progressive) as before, instead of having to switch to wearing reading glasses, which will make your life "miserable".

As for the laser procedure ($1600 each eye), he said no need for that. No monovision, no multifocal, period (both don't work well).

When you get the "-250" lenses, you won't get the "wow" factor ("wow" I see everything so clearly now) after surgery, which may be the reason why it's not the usual recommendation given by eye surgeons.


Chopin Op. 48, No. 1
Czerny Variation on a theme by Rode
Chopin Bolero
Schumann Piano Concerto / Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5

Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919450 12/03/19 03:42 PM
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Hugh, how is your vision now? Easiest way to test monovision would be to get a contact lens that gives you normal far vision and wear it in just one eye. If you can get used to that, then it should work. Before I got lasik, I tried that and it didn't work. I could never get used to the two different focuses in my eyes, and text became unreadable. So, I had lasik correct both eyes to 20/20, and I use reading glasses. I opted for this because the time I spend reading is still less than the time I spend doing other activities, so my total time needing glasses this way is less.

Good luck!

-Emery


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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919495 12/03/19 06:14 PM
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I opted for monovision when I had my cataract surgery 10 years ago -- on the advice of my ophthalmologist. I was pretty nearsighted (-9 in right eye, -7 in left). My experience with monovision is mixed. They corrected my right eye for distance and my left for reading. First off, they were not able to correct my right eye to 20/20; the best they could to is 20/40...which is enough to satisfy most states drivers license tests. Left eye is great for reading, down to 20/15.

I find there are a number of tasks where having the eyes at 2 different focal distances is less than optimal. So I usually wear glasses that correct for distance while driving, especially at night. I got some glasses to correct for mid-distance (about 2 feet away, like a piano desk is) so that sheet music is crystal clear. Then I got some readers for long-haul reading. That's 3 pairs of glasses. It would be expensive except for the fact that my eyeglass prescription hasn't changed since the monovision lenses were implanted (typical after cataract correction), so I'm not buying new glasses every 2 years.

I can see "good enough" in all situations without glasses. I can drive and read the fine print on labels. It's nice to leave the house without glasses and know I'll be okay. It's just that when I'm engaged in an activity that requires concentration over an hour or more, my eyes get tired.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd still do monovision as it gives me the option of being free of glasses most of the time.


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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Singing Shortstop] #2919504 12/03/19 07:09 PM
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This is a strange but interesting topic for PW. I will be facing this dilemma sometime in the not too distant future. The ophthalmologist says my cataracts aren’t yet “ripe” enough to do the surgery. I’ve had 20/10 vision my whole life so the blurry vision, even with glasses, is driving me crazy. If I opt for mono vision, I wonder how they determine the distance eye? I write right handed but use my left for fine things like picking berries or retrieving spilled pins and I aim with my left eye. I’m following this topic with interest.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2919526 12/03/19 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Thanks for explaining. Finally clicked. I think I might ask about mono vision in my next optometry appointment, although I'm hesitant to screw things up if it's already working now.

BTW, I have a theory that my presbyopia cured my astigmatism. It used to be so severe, I had to wear semi-rigid contacts. But these last 10 years since I started developing presbyopia, none of my optometrists have ever mentioned astigmatism. It's as if it went away.

EDIT: I've emailed my brother, a corneal surgeon with some questions. I never thought to ask before since I thought mono vision was a surgery thing. I didn't realize it could be done with contact lenses too. Thanks again.
You’re a lucky man to have lost your astigmatism! Mine is only getting worse... frown

I don't know if this is possible. Just asked my brother if it is possible my presbyopia did something to my previous astigmatism.

OK my brother the cornea guy (incl. cataract surgery) says:
Originally Posted by Tyrone's bro
Astigmatism (which just means the eye is curved more in one direction than another, like a football instead of a basketball) often changes as we get older. For instance it is very common that kids have tight eyelids which makes the eyes shaped like footballs lying on their sides. Then as they age and the upper lids get looser, the eyes round up more like basketballs. So it is very possible that your astigmatism has reduced down to a level that does not need to be corrected. And leaving some astigmatism uncorrected can actually be helpful when one has developed presbyopia, because it increases depth of field (astigmatism makes your cornea "multifocal"!)

So maybe it did help in my case. Lucky me. He did say to me about mono vision:
Originally Posted by Tyrone's bro
i think if the multifocal contact lenses work for you, you should stick with them.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2919529 12/03/19 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Thanks for explaining. Finally clicked. I think I might ask about mono vision in my next optometry appointment, although I'm hesitant to screw things up if it's already working now.

BTW, I have a theory that my presbyopia cured my astigmatism. It used to be so severe, I had to wear semi-rigid contacts. But these last 10 years since I started developing presbyopia, none of my optometrists have ever mentioned astigmatism. It's as if it went away.

EDIT: I've emailed my brother, a corneal surgeon with some questions. I never thought to ask before since I thought mono vision was a surgery thing. I didn't realize it could be done with contact lenses too. Thanks again.
You’re a lucky man to have lost your astigmatism! Mine is only getting worse... frown

I don't know if this is possible. Just asked my brother if it is possible my presbyopia did something to my previous astigmatism.

OK my brother the cornea guy (incl. cataract surgery) says:
Originally Posted by Tyrone's bro
Astigmatism (which just means the eye is curved more in one direction than another, like a football instead of a basketball) often changes as we get older. For instance it is very common that kids have tight eyelids which makes the eyes shaped like footballs lying on their sides. Then as they age and the upper lids get looser, the eyes round up more like basketballs. So it is very possible that your astigmatism has reduced down to a level that does not need to be corrected. And leaving some astigmatism uncorrected can actually be helpful when one has developed presbyopia, because it increases depth of field (astigmatism makes your cornea "multifocal"!)

So maybe it did help in my case. Lucky me. He did say to me about mono vision:
Originally Posted by Tyrone's bro
i think if the multifocal contact lenses work for you, you should stick with them.


Ok, Tyrone, can you ask your brother, since my astigmatism is getting worse (not better like you) does that mean I am getting younger?


Kawai K-500
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Re: Eyesight--LASIK Monovision? [Re: WeakLeftHand] #2919531 12/03/19 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
You’re a lucky man to have lost your astigmatism! Mine is only getting worse... frown

I don't know if this is possible. Just asked my brother if it is possible my presbyopia did something to my previous astigmatism.

OK my brother the cornea guy (incl. cataract surgery) says:
Originally Posted by Tyrone's bro
Astigmatism (which just means the eye is curved more in one direction than another, like a football instead of a basketball) often changes as we get older. For instance it is very common that kids have tight eyelids which makes the eyes shaped like footballs lying on their sides. Then as they age and the upper lids get looser, the eyes round up more like basketballs. So it is very possible that your astigmatism has reduced down to a level that does not need to be corrected. And leaving some astigmatism uncorrected can actually be helpful when one has developed presbyopia, because it increases depth of field (astigmatism makes your cornea "multifocal"!)

So maybe it did help in my case. Lucky me. He did say to me about mono vision:
Originally Posted by Tyrone's bro
i think if the multifocal contact lenses work for you, you should stick with them.


Ok, Tyrone, can you ask your brother, since my astigmatism is getting worse (not better like you) does that mean I am getting younger?

Haha... OK... asking...


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