Getting older means changes to our bodies and health, including our vision. As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to focus on nearby objects.
This condition is called presbyopia, and it impacts over 1.7 billion people worldwide.
The most common frustration with presbyopia is difficulty reading small print. Many seniors rely on the use of readers to read the newspaper, surf the internet, or check out labels. But, this becomes complicated for those who already rely on glasses to see. There are a few different options for those who also require vision correction for myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism.
Contact Lenses + Readers
If you are someone who already wears contacts, it might not be too big of an issue to keep a pair of reader glasses handy for when you need to read small print.
Bifocals are the most traditional solution for correcting close-up vision for those who already have glasses. A small portion of the lower part of the lenses contain correction for your up-close vision, while the rest of the lens contains correction for your distance vision. The separation between the two lenses is obvious and can be seen by both the glasses wearer and others. Trifocals apply the same concept but have 3 lenses, each designed to correct different fields of vision. Many people have trouble jumping between the two lenses, and others dislike the obvious look of bifocals.
Bifocal Contact Lenses
Bifocal contact lenses function the same way as regular bifocal glasses, but within a contact lens. This is a great option for those that do not currently wear glasses and find readers to be a hassle.
Bifocal contacts come in 2 versions – segmented and concentric. Segmented bifocal contacts are similar to regular bifocal lenses in that they have one prescription on top and one prescription on bottom. They are weighted at the bottom to keep them properly oriented in your eye. Concentric bifocal contacts have a circular design with one prescription at the center (for distance) and a different prescription around the perimeter (for near vision).
Progressive lenses are a great option for those that already have glasses, but don’t like the look or functionality of traditional bifocals. Think of progressive bifocals as a gradient – seamlessly incorporating one prescription for distance vision into a prescription for close-up vision. Many people prefer progressives because they are less obvious and less distracting.
One of the newest and most exciting solutions for those with presbyopia are Vuity eye drops. In late 2021, the FDA approved these prescription-only, once-daily eye drops, for adults to treat presbyopia. The drops activate and drastically improve vision in as little as 15 minutes, with effects lasting up to 6 hours. How do they work? Vuity eye drops contain a lower dosage of a medication that has been used to treat glaucoma for more than a century. This medication decreases the size of the pupil, effectively increasing the ability to see up close while maintaining long range vision.
Presbyopia does not have to disrupt your life. There are solutions to help you see clearly, even if you already wear glasses. Everyone’s best solution is different, so that’s why we’re committed to working with you to best understand your needs and lifestyle to find a treatment that is going to work best for you.
If you’ve noticed subtle changes in your near vision, be sure to talk to your eye doctor. Schedule an exam with one of our qualified optometrists today.