on Thursday, December 10, 2009
If you’re in your 40’s (or even approaching 40) you may have noticed reading and seeing objects up close isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. Not to worry – you’ve got a very common vision condition called presbyopia. In fact, presbyopia is so common that is affects virtually everybody, usually starting around the age of 40.
Most people think of presbyopia when they hear the word “bifocals” or “reading glasses”. I think most of us can relate to either our parents or grandparents reaching for their bifocals or reading glasses. The good news today is that needing bifocals doesn’t have to mean wearing bifocals. Advances in contact lens designs now make multifocal contact lenses a great option for addressing presbyopia. In fact, with patient visits up 75% in the multifocal category since 2002, multifocals are the fastest growing segment in the contact lens industry.
Nearly 90 million Americans – or roughly one in three – have presbyopia, yet awareness of this condition is very low. A study sponsored by CooperVision that was conducted by Harris Interactive found that 83% of US adults aged 18+ are not aware of the vision condition. So how do you know if you have it? If you are experiencing any of the common symptoms of presbyopia – such as a noticeable change in near vision, eyestrain, or headaches, you should see an eye care specialist to discuss your options.
The contact lens options for this growing segment of the population provide a convenient, comfortable and healthy alternative to bifocals or reading glasses. CooperVision offers the most comprehensive multifocal contact lens portfolio in the industry. Multifocal contact lenses from CooperVision contain multiple zones of vision correction by providing the wearer with simultaneous distance, intermediate and near vision. The word simultaneous is key because most people think of these lenses much like bifocals where you have to look at a certain zone to see clearly at near. This is not the case with multifocal contacts. Multifocal contacts allow you to naturally see clearly up close, at middle distances (like using a computer) and far away without having to focus your eyes in a certain zone of the lens.
If you’re one of the millions of long time contact lenses wearers entering your 40’s, you can continue to enjoy the comfort and convenience of contact lenses. Even if you’ve never worn contacts before, or if you dropped out of contacts in the past, the onset of presbyopia is a great time to try contacts for the first time.
Presbyopia is the normal worsening of vision with age – especially near vision. The condition is a natural part of aging that eventually affects everyone. As we grow older, the lenses in our eyes thicken and lose their elasticity, and the muscles surrounding the lens weaken. Both these changes decrease our ability to focus, especially on near objects. Besides, blurred near vision, the signs of presbyopia include eye strain and the tendency to hold reading materials further away.