There are many contact lens options for patients over 40. One condition common during the aging process that can be successfully addressed with properly fitted contact lenses is presbyopia, thought to be caused by a gradual thickening and loss of flexibility of the lens of the eye as we age. Presbyopia is characterized by the increasing need to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus, and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When presbyopia sufferers perform near work, such as reading up close or handwriting, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.
Distance Contact Lenses with Readers
One option is to wear contacts that correct only for distance, and use a pair of reading glasses whenever needed. This option provides the sharpest distance and near vision, but you will still need glasses whenever you are doing any close work.
Monovision Contact Lenses
The next option is called monovision, where one contact lens corrects for distance and the other corrects for near. This option is well accepted by many patients, but not by all. It can decrease depth perception slightly, and it does take a short period of adjustment. This option is good for people with astigmatism, and also for people who don’t normally need any distance correction.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
The final option is multifocal contact lenses. Multifocal lenses can be fit in either RGP or soft contacts. They are also available for patients with astigmatism. These contacts focus on near, intermediate, and far objects at the same time. Your brain learns to select what part of the lens you should be using and tunes out the other part. There is a period of adjustment with multifocal contacts, but most patients find them to be a convenient alternative to wearing reading glasses.