Will I Need Reading Glasses After LASIK?

You’ve had LASIK or are thinking about it so that you can completely get rid of glasses and contact lenses. So, you’re wondering if you still need reading glasses after LASIK surgery.

In this article, we’ll go over difficulty reading after LASIK. We will also take a look at a surgery technique that can be used to avoid this.

So whether you’re still deciding if you want LASIK or not, or if you’ve already had it and notice your close-up vision is worse, we hope this article answers all your questions.

Difficulty Reading After LASIK

LASIK can effectively treat farsightedness, which is when near objects appear blurry. This means laser eye surgery can correct the need for reading glasses. It also treats nearsightedness (also known as myopia), which is when distance vision appears blurry. However, traditional LASIK for myopia doesn’t correct presbyopia, an age-related condition that also causes blurry near vision and the need for reading glasses.

This is the main reason why you may need reading glasses after LASIK eye surgery.

Presbyopia Explained

Presbyopia is an eye condition associated with the natural aging process of your eyes. It affects most people over 40. People with presbyopia can’t focus clearly on close objects, so they appear blurry.

Once you hit 40, you will probably notice that when you need to read something, you hold it farther away so that you can see it clearly. Let’s see why this happens:


In order to see sharp and clearly, light has to focus exactly on the retina. The retina is located in the back of your eye and is responsible for translating light into an image that the brain can interpret. The lens of your eye has the ability to change shapes to achieve this, depending on if you’re looking at close objects or distant objects.

When you’re young, the lens can easily do this because it is soft and flexible. However, after 40, the lens starts to become more stiff and rigid. It can’t change shapes as easily to adapt to your visual needs.

For close-up vision, the lens takes on a more round shape. Because it loses the ability to do this properly, it stays in a more flat and relaxed shape. This puts the focal point of light behind the retina and causes blurry near vision.

There is no way to stop or reverse the normal aging process that causes presbyopia.

Since LASIK corrects vision by reshaping the cornea (which is the front of the eye), it has nothing to do with the lens inside your eye. It doesn’t have any effect on the health of the lens or how it reacts to the aging process. This is why many people that have LASIK eventually end up needing reading glasses.

Correcting Presbyopia with LASIK

There’s a LASIK technique called monovision. With monovision LASIK, doctors correct one eye for distance vision and the other eye for near vision.

If presbyopia is the only vision problem you have, you can opt for traditional LASIK. However, if you also have myopia or are getting LASIK after 40, the monovision technique is the recommendation.

This technique can stop your need to wear glasses/contact lenses to see both near and far objects. Monovision LASIK is indicated for most people older than 40 who are experiencing a loss of the ability to adapt the shape of the lens.

The Bottom Line on Reading Glasses After LASIK

People over 40, regardless of whether or not they’ve had eye surgery, tend to need reading glasses as a natural result of aging. We call this presbyopia.

Because presbyopia is unrelated to the shape of the cornea, traditional LASIK does not correct it.

To treat presbyopia, you can wear reading glasses while looking at close objects or have eye surgery. If you already have myopia, monovision LASIK is recommended because it corrects one eye for distance vision and the other for close-up vision.

We are happy to answer any questions you may still have! Leave them in the comments below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Hugo Moreira

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Every single article in Myopia Daily is fact-checked to ensure the information is high-quality, medically accurate, and meets industry standards.

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My passion for promoting eye health in communities around the world fuels me to create content that is factually reviewed not only by the most up-to-date scientific research but also by everyday expertise from my personal experience with being nearsighted since I was a child.