If you’re a contact lens wearer over 40, you may have noticed that it’s more difficult to focus on near objects. This is because presbyopia, a natural occurrence by our mid-40s, makes it difficult to discern close objects without reading glasses. Even with contacts, you may have found yourself holding reading materials at arm’s length to help focus.

It’s believed that presbyopia is caused by changes to the lens inside the eye, making it harder and less elastic and more difficult to quickly shift focus from far to near. For centuries, bifocal eyeglasses were used to correct presbyopia, with a distance vision prescription at the top and near vision prescription at the bottom. Today, we have other options.

The simplest approach is to continue using contact lenses for distance vision while using reading glass for work and reading.

Another approach involves multifocal contact lenses which work by using different circular power zones on the lens, some zones for distance and others for reading close objects. This avoids the need for eye glasses, while helping maintain balanced vision in both eyes at all distances. Multifocal contacts are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable.

A third option is called monovision and involves one eye wearing a near vision lens and the other eye wearing a distance vision lens. Eyes automatically focus depending on what you’re looking at, although there may be some initial imbalance until you train your brain to use them effectively.

Presbyopia happens to all of us, even those of us who’ve never work corrective lenses. For those of us who wear contact lenses, we can rest assured there are ways to ease that transition.

If you have questions about changing a prescription to adjust for presbyopia, please call our eye care professionals at 877-871-1684.


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