Contact Lenses For Aging Eyes

Being a senior doesn't mean that you have to wear glasses the rest of your life. Your eyes may need a special prescription, but in many cases, contact lenses will fit your needs. If you frequently lose your glasses, or are tired of having a pair of glasses hanging around your neck on a chain, ask your eye doctor about contacts. Here are a few situations where contacts are an option for you.

Bifocal Contacts

Presbyopia, the loss of ability to refocus from far away objects to near objects, is a common vision problem. Then it becomes hard to focus on far away objects at all. Bifocal contacts, like their eyeglass counterparts, have both the near and distance prescriptions built into them to correct these two vision issues. There are a variety of types of bifocal contacts and your ophthalmologist at a place like Brooks Eyecare can recommend the right ones for you.

The Monovision Approach

In some cases where bifocal contacts won't work for you, or you can't get used to them, an option called monovision might work. This involves wearing a contact to correct distance vision in one eye and one to correct near vision in the other. It will take some time to get used to, but people develop the ability to favor one eye when reading or working on the computer and the other eye when focusing on objects far away. The downside is that this affects your binocular vision, which makes depth perception difficult. This can make driving very hard to do.

People have even compensated for the issue of depth perception by wearing a bifocal contact in one eye and a single-vision contact in the other. This is called modified monovision.

Contacts to Correct Astigmatism

If you have blurry vision due to astigmatism, special contact lenses are available to correct that. Called toric lenses, these compensate for the curvature of your cornea that makes it hard to focus on single objects. There are a variety of types of toric contact lenses available. Each lens includes two prescriptions, one to correct the astigmatism and another for near or distance vision.

Contacts and Cataracts

During cataract surgery, your eye doctor removes the old, cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). In the rare cases where an IOL won't work for you, contact lenses are available to allow you to see without needing to wear thick eyeglasses.

Another option in cataract surgery is taking the monovision approach to the IOLs. One IOL will be for near vision and the other one for distance. Before the surgery, your doctor can have you try using monovision contacts for awhile to see if you can get used to them. If successful, they know that the monovision IOL approach will also work for you.

Don't ignore the contact lens option when you go in for an eye exam. You can always try them for awhile before having prescription glasses made.