From the moment you wake up in the morning, your eyes are working relentlessly hard until you close them at night. It’s no surprise, then, that with age, the lens in the eye loses its elasticity, resulting in gradual difficulty seeing things up close.1 This is a normal age-related change called presbyopia, and it usually occurs sometime after the age of 40, when you find yourself holding your phone or book farther away to see clearer.
You can become presbyopic even if you’ve never had any eye condition before, and also if you’re short-sighted, long-sighted or have astigmatism. A specific type of contact lens is commonly used, therefore, to help reduce the impact of presbyopia on your day-to-day life if you have an existing eye condition — multifocal lenses. These have multiple prescriptions built-in, which allows you to see clearly at all distances.
What should presbyopia contact lenses be made of?
Multifocal contact lenses for presbyopia are usually made of two different materials: soft materials and rigid gas permeable materials. Soft lenses are flexible, and so make them easy to adapt to and very comfortable to wear. They are often available as daily disposables, twice-monthly or monthly disposables, and extended wear lenses. There is also a newer lens material, called silicone hydrogel , which provides more oxygen to the eyes, offering added comfort and better eye health.2
Multifocal rigid gas permeable (GP) contact lenses, on the other hand, are made from a firm, durable material that allows oxygen to pass through and retains its shape when you blink, providing crisper, clearer vision compared to soft contact lenses.2 This type of lens does, however, require an initial adjustment period when you first put them in, and can seem less comfortable at first than soft contact lenses options.
If you’re interested in learning more about our lens options for presbyopia, head over here . Alternatively, head back to our contact lens page for more information on how to pick the best lens for you.
How comfortable are they?
After knowing they’re the right prescription for you, the most important part of picking out a pair of contact lenses is to make sure they’re comfortable on a daily basis. Standard hydrogel multifocal contact lenses for presbyopia are easy to adapt to and are very non-intrusive in the eye with continued use. These are suitable for everyday tasks such as reading, driving, and working on a computer. For extra comfort, silicone hydrogel lenses may be your best option, as they are made from a more breathable material and remain remarkably comfortable even with extended wearing time.
It’s also essential that your lenses are accurately fitted. Multifocal lenses for presbyopia have a more complex design than standard lenses, and because of this, they require a more precise fitting for optimal comfort. This process may take a bit of time, but it’s necessary to find the best multifocal contact lenses for presbyopia.
What to do if you have astigmatism
Astigmatism is a condition that causes you to have blurred vision due to an irregular shape of the eye. This can be easily corrected with specific astigmatism lenses , such as aspheric (toric) contact lenses , and if you have both astigmatism and presbyopia, aspheric multifocal contact lenses can provide vision correction for both. These lenses have a gradual change in power that helps to provide clear vision at all distances. For extra convenience, daily disposable aspheric multifocal contacts allow you to get the vision correction you need with no lens care necessary — but this option can be more expensive, and you will need to replace them on a daily basis.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology. (no date). What is Presbyopia? [Online]. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-presbyopia [Accessed 18 October 2019].
- FDA. (no date). Types of Contact Lenses. [Online]. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/contact-lenses/types-contact-lenses [Accessed 18 October 2019].