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How to Fit Multifocal Contact Lenses

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Close up image of a woman putting a contact into her right eye.

Chances are, if you are reading this you’re like a couple of our doctors and are over 40. (It’s hard to believe that we’re here, but it’s happened.) 

Along with needing a standby fire truck when we blow out our birthday candles, in our 40s we tend to start showing our age. Fine lines start to appear, age spots show up, and we might struggle to read our smartphones, menus, or books. 

This vision change is called presbyopia. The symptoms might include blurry vision at near range, eye strain, eye fatigue, or headaches. 

The good news is there’s never been a better time in history to be dealing with presbyopia. 

Why Do I Need Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Presbyopia is a natural part of aging. For most people, it hits by their mid-40s. The lens in your eye becomes less flexible with time and it’s not able to focus light correctly on your retina. The result? Blurred vision at reading distance.

Your might notice exhausted eyes or headaches during or after computer work if you don’t correct your new vision problem.

For people who had 20/20 vision before presbyopia hit, this is a time when they’ll want to see their eye doctor for their first glasses or contact lens prescription. But for those who already wore glasses or contacts, they will likely need a new, multifocal prescription.

Before multifocal contact lenses, hitting your 40s often meant you had to start using reading glasses or get used to wearing bifocals or seamless progressive glasses. Not anymore.

Contact lens solution being dropped from a bottle into a case.

The Special Fitting Process for Multifocal Contact Lenses

Today’s multifocal contact lenses are far more comfortable than they used to be. This is good news for our patients who struggle with irritation and dryness when wearing contacts. Additionally, multifocal contact lenses work great to help improve distance vision while helping to reduce the stress the eyes have during near tasks. 

Because of the additional prescription in the lenses, multifocals require a little more fitting time and expertise to get you the clearest and most comfortable vision.

So how do we do it? 

First, we need a full assessment of your eye health, vision, and lifestyle. With a good understanding of not only your prescription, but also how you use your eyes, our doctors can determine a set of lenses to help maximize your vision. 

We are usually capable of choosing lenses for you during the same appointment as your eye exam. Once you leave wearing your contact lenses, you will experience the world in a new way. 

Frequently it takes a patient about 3–5 days to get the maximum effect out of their new contact lenses because the brain needs to adapt to the new way of seeing. 

Often, patients are able to adapt to the new way of seeing and achieve the vision that they desire. Other times a patient may find that a segment of their vision is not as ideal as they would like. In that case, an additional appointment with their eye doctor may be needed to fine-tune their vision and maximize the outcome from the multifocal contact lenses. 

Say Goodbye to Reading Glasses

If you’re having trouble with your reading-distance vision and you’d prefer not to rely on reading glasses, there’s a great chance multifocal contact lenses may be just the thing you need. Schedule an appointment with Specialty Eye today.

Written by Dr. David Kading

Dr. Kading is active in various dry eye, contact lens, and contact lens solution research studies, and is a consultant and key opinion leader for several eye care manufacturers. He writes articles and has performed hundreds of lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of keratoconus, irregular corneas, dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses, contact lens solutions, and practice management.

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