As we approach our early 40’s the eye’s crystalline lens loses its ability to bring close objects into clear focus. This is called presbyopia. Presbyopia is not a disease. As part of the natural aging process of the eye it affects everyone. Signs of early presbyopia include eye fatigue with reading and computer work, blurred vision up close and a desire to hold reading material further away.

There are several ways to correct for the decreased flexibility in focus. These include reading glasses, bifocals, trifocals and progressive lenses. Contact lenses options include distance contact lenses with reading glasses, bifocal contact lenses and monovision contact lenses. Monovision means wearing a contact lens for distance vision on one eye and a contact lens for reading on the other eye. Most people adjust very well to monovision and achieve clearer vision than with current bifocal contact lens options. Your optometrist will be able to fit and supply you with diagnostic contact lenses so you can try the monovision modality prior to purchasing contact lenses to be sure it is the best choice for your visual needs.

The effects of presbyopia continue to change the eye’s focusing ability during the 40’s and tend to plateau during the 50’s. Periodic changes and updates in your eyewear and contact lenses may be necessary to achieve the clearest and most comfortable vision.


Author: Dr. Joanne Hendrick

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