If your 40th birthday has come and gone, you may have started to notice some changes in your vision. You might find yourself holding written material further away from your face in order to clearly read the fine print, or have a harder time adjusting your focus from distant objects to near ones.
The inability to see things clearly at various distances can be frustrating.
Fortunately, this problem can be solved by wearing multifocal contact lenses. Below, we’ll explain the cause and symptoms of presbyopia, along with the many benefits of wearing multifocal contact lenses.
What Is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is the natural and gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on near objects.
The crystalline lens in your eye focuses light onto the retina, and it adapts its shape depending on what you focus on. From infancy until your late 30s or early 40s, the lens is usually clear, thin and very flexible, allowing fast adjustments for sharp vision at all distances.
From age 40-50 the lens becomes considerably thicker and much less flexible. This makes it harder for the lens to change shape and to accurately refract light when focusing on near objects.
This farsightedness can be easily corrected with reading glasses, bifocal or multifocal glasses, monovision contact lenses, as well as multifocal contact lenses.
Multifocal Contact Lenses for Presbyopia
Multifocal contact lenses contain multiple lens powers to provide vision correction for different visual zones so you can clearly see objects that are in the distance, nearby and everything in between.
Certain multifocal contact lenses have 2 lens powers (bifocals), for near and distance vision, and others have a more gradual power change, similar to progressive lenses. These contact lenses can be made using soft materials or rigid gas-permeable materials, and are available as daytime or extended night-wear lenses.
Note that multifocal contact lenses are not perfect for all situations and some patients may need to try several brands or designs before finding one that works well for them. To spare you the confusion, your optometrist will guide you towards the ones best suited to your eyes and lifestyle needs.
To discover options beyond reading glasses, call Michael L. Smookler, O.D. in West Roxbury to schedule your contact lens consultation today!
#1: Are there any "cons" related to wearing multifocal contact lenses?
Many multifocal contact lenses use a "simultaneous vision" design that allows seeing far and near simultaneously through concentric zones. Some people have problems adapting to this, noticing hazy vision and less contrast than single vision lenses. You can ask your optometrist to be fit with multifocal lenses and get a test run” or trial period.
#2: When does presbyopia stabilize?
Most people will start to develop age-related vision changes starting in their early to mid-40s. At around 60 years of age, your eyesight will begin to stabilize and you’ll notice less of a need to update your lens prescription. Nonetheless, yearly comprehensive eye exams at this age are more important than ever, as they enable your eye doctor to detect potential eye conditions and diseases early on.