‘Forty is the new twenty!’ This is a slogan that is now currently doing the rounds on fortieth birthdays and with a good reason too.
Development in the technological and scientific fields is not only making our lives easier but are also ensuring longevity. Gone are those days when turning forty meant getting old and scrambling for your glasses.
Use of regular and coloured contact lenses has increased in people over the age of 40 and here we explore the various contact lens options available for people over 40.
As you get older, there are certain physiological changes that will occur inevitably and presbyopia is one of them. Presbyopia is simply a loss of your ability to focus on near objects and you might notice it when it becomes difficult for you to read fine print or even text messages clearly.
Don’t be alarmed if you are facing this problem as this is a normal loss of vision and even if you’ve had perfect vison before your forties, you will still face this problem. The common signs and symptoms include the following:
- You are unable to read fine print clearly and usually have to hold your book, newspaper or cell phone farther away from your eyes to see clearly.
- Headaches, eye strain and visual fatigue are also common signs of presbyopia.
Use of contact lenses has increased over the past few years, especially amongst people over 40, and here we share a few options that can be availed. Keep in mind that some colored contact lenses can also be used for presbyopia.
Single Vision Contact Lenses
Single vison contact lenses are also known as mono-vison contact lenses. As the name indicates, one contact lens is worn in one eye for distant vision and another contact lens is worn in the other eye for near vision. The contact lens for distant vision is worn in the dominant eye and the contact lens for near vision is worn in the non-dominant eye.
Although it may seem a bit cumbersome but surprisingly, mono-vision contact lenses are easier to adjust to as it is more of a power adjustment issue. Since it is a power adjustment issue, you have a wide choice of lens brands, quality, materials, sizes and shapes to choose from.
That said, if you are in your forties and love to play sports such as tennis or golf, then mono-vision lenses are not for you as these lenses cause a reduction in depth perception.
Bifocal or Multifocal Contact Lenses
As opposed to mono-vision contact lenses, bifocal or multifocal lenses produce better results as both eyes are adjusted for distant and near vision.
How Do Bifocal/ Multifocal Lenses Work?
Multifocal lenses are multi-faceted as they not only help in adjusting near vison but they also help in adjusting distant vision at the same time. Some of these are bifocal lenses as they come with two distinct lens powers.
On the other hand, multifocal progressive contact lenses come with a gradual change in lens power for a more natural transition from distant to near vision. Multifocal contact lenses come in a variety of materials:
- Soft lenses are for daily and extended over-night wear.
- Rigid gas-permeable lenses provide a much sharper vision as opposed to soft lenses. That said, they require a bit of adaptation on the wearer’s behalf as they are a bit rigid.
- One-day disposable multifocal lenses are also available which can be worn and disposed after a single use.
- A latest type of multifocal lens is the hybrid multifocal lens that combines the softness of a soft contact lens and sharpness of a rigid gas-permeable lens.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
As mentioned earlier, rigid GP lenses are favored as they provide a sharper vision and rarely affect depth of vision. These lenses are of three main types and they are described below.
- Lined flat-top bifocal lenses move around on your eye. As your eye moves, the lens moves in the opposite direction to ensure alignment of your line of vision with the near object.
- Aspherical lenses gradually and smoothly increase in power from the center to the periphery. As opposed to flat-top bifocal lenses, these lenses don’t move around on your eye.
- Concentric lenses have alternating concentric rings of distant and near power.
Using contact lenses to correct your vision woe is a smart move and has a number of advantages. However, keep in mind that as you age, your vision will also change and most likely, it will deteriorate.
It is important that you go and see your optician every year for a thorough eye examination and get your prescription for both regular and colored contact lenses renewed.
Wearing Contact Lenses for Visual Correction is Easier and Manageable!