When you reach the age of 40, your near vision begins to blur. This condition is known as presbyopia. You may start to realize that you need to hold certain materials farther away from you in order to see clearly. Furthermore, you may start squinting, which may cause headaches and increased tension. For those who wear glasses or contact lenses, the idea of needing reading glasses can seem inconvenient or make you feel old. For those who never needed glasses, suddenly requiring vision correction can feel scary or uncomfortable.
The eye has a lens inside, when you're younger, the lens is usually much more flexible. It can quickly increase focusing power when looking at something close up and decrease focusing power when looking at something far away. Our eyes are incredibly sophisticated more so than even the latest camera, whose lens with auto-focus will be able to refocus on something close or far away. When you get older, the flexibility of this lens decreases and the lens becomes harder, making it more difficult for you to see clearly.
For some people reading glasses are the easiest solution, however there are many reasons why people will look for an alternative to reading glasses.
Luckily there are different options that allow for patients with presbyopia to have great vision without reading glasses. There are different contact lens options available for patients with presbyopia such as:
Monovision involves focusing the dominant eye on seeing far away and the non-dominant eye on viewing up close. You can essentially still wear the same kind of contact lenses you are used to wearing, the same brand and material. There may be issues with your depth perception due to the fact that one eye is used exclusively for distance, while the other eye is used exclusively for near. This means the brain can't really bring the two images together, which is necessary for depth perception. While many patients benefit from monovision contact lenses, due to the issues with binocular vision (both eyes working towards providing a unified image), they are generally the second best option when compared to multifocal contact lenses.
In cases where monovision isn't the best option, patients are prescribed multifocal contact lenses. These lenses can be used to correct for both distance and near, as it combines both distance and near correction in one lens. When you wear multifocal contact lenses, your depth perception is not compromised because you can use both of your eyes to see far away and to see up close. Patients may need some time to adjust to multifocal contact lenses. As this lens aims for you to be able to see at all distances, you may have to compromise the sharpness of your vision both at a distance and up close. Many patients have had success with multifocal contact lenses. Patients absolutely love it because they do not have to wear reading glasses in order to see up close.