Do You Need to Wear Reading Glasses? Contact Lenses are a Great Alternative Correction for Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a common vision issue that is a natural process which occurs with age. While eyeglasses can correct this issue, contact lenses may be preferred by those who live a more active lifestyle.

Do You Need to Wear Reading Glasses? Contact Lenses are a Great Alternative Correction for Presbyopia in Olympia

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is an issue that usually presents with age, that causes blurred near vision. It typically starts to affect people at around age 40, even those who have never had vision problems before.

When the condition first manifests, a person will feel a need to squint or hold reading materials further than usual from them in order to properly focus. Other common symptoms include headaches, eye strain, and fatigue.

Most experts believe presbyopia is caused by changes to the eye’s lens. As someone ages, the lens gets harder and less flexible, leading to an increased difficulty focusing on nearby objects.

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Contact Lenses to Correct Presbyopia

For many people who realize they are in the early stages of presbyopia, contact lenses will be a better option as they allow for a more active lifestyle than glasses. Also, contacts make it less obvious that someone requires vision correction.

  • Bifocal Lenses

The most common type of lenses used to correct presbyopia are bifocal lenses. Bifocal contact lenses are available in both soft and gas permeable designs. Some have a bifocal design with two distinct lens powers — one for your distance vision and one for near. 

Others, multifocal lenses have a design similar to progressive eyeglass lenses, with a gradual change in lens power for a natural visual transition from distance to close-up. Depending on what your eyes need, our optometrist will determine just what type of bifocal lens is best for you. Depending on your vision needs, the precise layout of the powers of the lenses may vary. For example, the near power of the lens can be in the center, with the far vision portions on the outside, while in other lenses, the division can be evenly split between top and bottom.

Multifocal lenses are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable materials and can be either daily disposable lenses or ones you can wear overnight.

Rigid lenses can be more effective in some respects, but may be more difficult to get used to and more of a challenge to maintain.

Hybrid lenses, which combine the clarity of a gas permeable lens and the comfort of soft lenses, are also available.

For those who need intermediate vision correction as well, multifocal contact lenses are an effective option.

  • Monovision

Monovision lenses are another correction option for presbyopia. With monovision, one eye wears a lens for near vision, while the other wears one for distance. The eyes then automatically adjust depending on the situation.

  • Lenses and Glasses

An additional option, one that used to be far more common, is for people suffering from presbyopia to wear distance lenses in both eyes, and when they need to read or do other close-up work, they can wear reading glasses.

For Additional Questions

For Additional Questions

If you have other questions regarding your personal situation, or more questions in general about the contact lens options for correcting your presbyopia, you should consult our eye care professionals at (360) 491-2121.

Common Questions

There are a few different ones so I'll hit off on the most commonly used. The flat tops are the most commonly used. They have a straight hard line that separates the distance from the reading portion. Flat top 28 - Bifocal width will be 28mm Flat top 35 - Bifocal width will be 35mm. There are also rounded bifocal - The bifocal is round instead of the traditional half circle. There is another style called blended bifocal which is less noticeable because it does not stand out as the lined bifocal by eliminating the hard line and introducing a softer, smoother and rounded edge to the reading section.Then we have executive style which is essentially a flat top but with altered measurements that make the reading portion the entirety of the Rx below the line and distance Rx above it. Lastly we have Double D - Theses lenses have a bifocal on top of the lens and on the bottom
First it’s important to treat the patient’s dry eyes, but yes there are contact lenses for dry eye sufferers. Daily disposable contact lenses, specifically with a silicone hydrogel material, are the best type of soft contact lenses for patients suffering with dry eyes. These lenses, depending on the brand, allow for more oxygen permeability and are more hygienic on the eyes. With daily disposable contact lenses these are single-use contacts that are discarded after one day’s use, so they are less prone to lens deposits accumulating. Also, daily disposable contacts are sometimes found to feel more comfortable due to the thinner nature of the lens. Depending on the severity of dry eyes, there are also specialty hard contact lenses to help patients with severe dry eyes; such as scleral lenses.
This is really up to what your Doctor recommends after your examination. They will consider not only acuities but how your eyes function as a team. This is important because not all eyes can use the varied options of lenses for presbyopia. One of the better options is a digital progressive lens. Made with start of the art technology its one of the more comfortable options for people. Second to that, if the person has adaptation issues with a progressive design then a traditional bifocal or trifocal would be best.
Trivex lenses a certain material that lenses are made of. Lens material is usually broken into a few categories such as: CR-39, Polycarbonate, Trivex, and Hi-Index. Each one has it's perks and cons. Trivex is a highly rated impact resistant, lightweight and UV protected lens. It also has a higher abbe value compared to polycarbonate meaning the light moves through the lens a little cleaner making the vision more crisp and clear.
Definitely. Contact lenses are a medical device placed on your eye so you need a proper contact lens evaluation by your eye doctor. During the contact lens evaluation your eye doctor will determine which modality and what specific brand of contact lens is best for you. Different contacts come in different contact lens parameters, such as the power, curvature and diameter of the lens. Thus, it’s imperative for your eye doctor to conduct a proper contact lens evaluation to ensure proper vision and fit of the lens. This is especially important to reduce any risk of contact lens associated infections or eye problems/discomfort.
Progressive lenses are a touch tricky to explain but let's just review the basics. We can think if a progressive lens as a trifocal, a lens with three different prescriptions, without a line. It's composed of a distance zone, intermediate or computer/office zone, and a reading zone. In-between these three zones are a steady gradation of increasing or decreasing powers, relative to direction, which aid in viewing from distance to near. As the eye "progresses" up and down the lens these little quarter steps between focal points keeps everything clear and in order for us.
Transition lenses are lenses that tint upon being exposed to UV light. What this means is that when sunlight hits the lens it will darken and in the absence of sunlight it will revert to its clear form. The transition, or photochromic element, is available on all types of materials from plastic to polycarbonate.
There are two types of progressive or PAL lenses. Conventional PALs use the same template or design for every lens and every patient. This can lend itself to distortion or other visual issues for some wearers. Digital progressive lenses are tailor made using software to construct a progressive thats unique to every wearer. They do this by utilizing measurements specific to each wearer. This reduces or eliminates distortion, non-adapts, improves comfortability and clarity. All in all, digital progressive lenses are a good route to take when looking to manage presbyopia.
Progressive lenses are similar to bifocals in having more than one prescription in them. However, whereas bifocals have two distinct and clearly separated areas of vision, progressives have a little more to them. In a progressive lens there are no hard, or curved lines, that visibly separate zones of vision. The lens is constructed in a way to gradually shift between distance, intermediate and reading zones in a comfortable and almost invisible progression.
Dr. Zurcher cartoon

Summary

Don’t let your presbyopia and need for corrective lenses hold you back from an active lifestyle. There are several options available regarding contact lenses to correct your vision. Feel free to contact us at Book an Appointment if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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Testimonials


  • Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.


    Anna P.

  • I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.


    June S.

  • Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.


    Christine R.

  • Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.


    Lars Wulff

  • Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.


    Justin E.

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