Vision over 40 Glasses or Contact Lenses We Break Out the Pros and Cons

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Even if you’ve had perfect 20/20 vision for your entire life, you’ll probably start noticing some changes in your eyes around the age of 40. Your 40’s mark the start of presbyopia, or the gradual, natural, age – related condition that results in your eyes being less adept at focusing on nearby objects. For most adults, the most obvious manifestation of these visual disturbances occur while reading. Simply seeing and focusing the words on the page of a book is something that becomes more difficult after presbyopia begins.

If you are going through this period of gradual vision decrease, you might be wondering what you can do to retain your vision and protect your eye health. For reading, many adults pick up a pair of reading glasses to keep on their bedside table. However, it is always best to consult your eye doctor about vision decreasing—even natural and common visual disturbances caused by presbyopia. Your eye doctor will be able to check your eyes, make sure there are no other ocular problems, and advise you on the best options to retain your vision. Specifically, your eye doctor will be able to give you advice on whether you are also a candidate for contact lenses.

Glasses or Contact lenses? Which Option Is Better for Presbyopia-Related Vision Loss

Which option you choose for vision correction while in the throes of presbyopia will depend on the state of your vision and the type of vision loss you are experiencing. Presbyopia, as mentioned above, is mostly associated with a decrease in near vision. After you turn 40, it could well be that your eyes start losing their ability to focus on nearby objects but retain their distance vision. In this case, you only really need something to help you with near object vision or reading. Reading glasses are the most popular option for this type of vision decrease, and for good reason. They are easy to put on or take off and can be utilized just when you need to focus on a nearby object. It’s also not very difficult to find a prescription that suits your needs.

However, some people prefer not to rely on the use of glasses for visual improvement and can opt for
contact lenses.

There are several contact lens modalities that people over 40 can rely on for assistance with both distance vision and near object vision. The first option is to use something called monovision contact lenses. In monovision, the patient wears two different contact lens prescriptions, one in each eye. The first lens, worn in the dominant eye, is intended for improving distance vision. The other lens is designed to focus on nearby objects. Monovision sounds bizarre to many contact lens wearers, but it does a good  job at mimicking regular vision. The truth is that everyone has a dominant eye anyway, and that this eye is the one we primarily use for distance vision. If there’s a drawback, it’s that monovision can diminish depth perception—making it a problem for athletes especially.

The second option consists of multifocal contact lenses, which are lenses that essentially have different  levels of prescription/vision correction at various points on the lens. These lenses move around your eye depending on line of sight. Their design means that, when you are reading or looking at a nearby object, your eye is utilizing the “near focus” part of the lens. When you are looking at a distant object, the lens  shifts so that your eye can use the “distance” part of the lens. These lenses don’t have the depth perception problems that monovision can cause, but they also require a little more work and adjustment on behalf of the patient. Adapting to these lenses, in other words, may feel less natural to some than monovision does.

Sometimes, the best option for people who have experienced loss of both distance vision and nearby vision is to use both contacts and glasses. In this arrangement, the contacts are fitted to improve distance vision, while the glasses are used for reading or looking at nearby options. Some patients dislike the inconvenience of this arrangement and would rather have an all-in-one solution. Ultimately, though, whether you are using glasses and contact lenses or one of these alone, there is always a solution to correct vision at near and distance and people over the age of 40.

Consult Your Eye Doctor Today

If you are noticing post-40 vision decrease, it’s a good time to visit your eye doctor for an eye exam.
Your eye doctor can advise you on which of the options discussed above is the best fit for your situation.
Call Miami Contact Lens Institute today to schedule a consultation with our team.