If you are over the age of 40 (ish) and wear (or want to wear) contact lenses – then you’ve probably realized that reading and computer can be more difficult (this phenomenon is called “Presbyopia”). The good news is that there are some really excellent solutions available! They include monovision contact lenses, multifocal contact lenses, gas permeable bifocal contact lenses, glasses for certain tasks, and combinations of these choices. I’ll go over monovision and multifocal contact lenses here to get started….
Monovision – is where one eye is corrected for distance (your dominant eye) and one eye is corrected for near. Mono works on the premise that your dominant eye is doing most of the work for distance anyway and we just kind of “exploit” that idea by helping your non-dominant eye to work a little better for reading. I find that this solution works best for people who already have a really dominant eye (one you use more than the other, kind of like someone who is very strongly right or left hand dominant) and for people who have astigmatism and want to stay in a soft contact lens. Of course, there are always drawbacks. For one, this type of contact lens fit may reduce your depth perception. Also, it can make very small print difficult. Both of this issues can be solved with part-time eyeglasses.
Multifocal Soft Lenses – these contact lenses use a technology where the contact lens itself has both distance and near power built INTO the lens so each eye is receiving distance and near correction at the same time. And there are many different types of these lenses and each lens manufacturer uses a little different configuration and are always coming up with new and better technology. This type of contact lens can sometimes involve some trial and error when being fit so, as a potential candidate, it is important to have patience as the brain sometimes needs a few days to adjust and adapt to the “new vision.” But in the end, it can be really amazing. These lenses are great for people who have to work at different focal points throughout the day (like distance, reading, and the computer). There are, however, some instances when glasses overtop might be necessary (like for really small print). Some cons can include a longer fitting time (while we find which one works best for you) and ghosting. Ghosting is where you might see some halos or shadowing around images in certain lighting situations. This can get better but initially it may be a problem.
Both types of lenses can be done in monthly, 2-week, or my favorite – dailies! Don’t forget that, as we get older, our eyes and ocular surface may become drier and therefore we would need to treat that dryness or inflammation before proceeding with a fit for the best success. If you are interested in learning more about theses lenses, and other options, please call the office, I’d love to talk more about the choices that might be right for you!