What is Presbyopia?

Woman with presbyopia and multifocal contact lenses reading tablet in living room

Is it becoming a little difficult to read a restaurant menu without holding it at arm’s length? Have you recently had to increase the text size on your phone? Do you need to squint to be able to read the newspaper? If you’ve experienced one or more of the above, chances are your eyes are developing presbyopia. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly natural and absolutely nothing to worry about: presbyopia is one of the most common eye conditions, affecting over 2 billion people around the world.

The older we get, the less flexible our eye’s natural lens becomes, meaning it struggles to focus when you look at things up-close. Presbyopia is a natural part of aging; like muscles, we find our eyes just don’t work as they once did. It typically starts in our forties but can happen earlier or later for some. Chances are you will have seen some of the signs of presbyopia in friends or family before now - it really does affect most people.

A convenient, hygienic, fuss-free way to treat presbyopia is with multifocal contact lenses (you may have heard of these being called varifocal contact lenses or bifocal contact lenses). There are a lot of innovative products making people’s lives a lot easier the world over, so we put together a list of our top-selling daily and reusable multifocal contact lenses in 2019 for daily and monthly wearers.

Man with presbyopia and multifocal contact lenses reading newspaper

Presbyopia symptoms

As the eye begins straining to focus up-close, you might start to notice the effects of presbyopia in some everyday activities involving reading, such as books, magazines, phone text, food labels, etc. This blurry vision will cause you to move further away, often as far as your arm can stretch, where things will become much clearer.

You also might notice blurry vision in physical activities too, such as painting your fingernails, applying makeup or driving. We tend to brush this off as a part of getting older and don’t do anything about it, but multifocal lenses can massively improve our quality of life and vision.

Presbyopia can also cause headaches, eye strain and visual fatigue that could also affect the way your eyes feel generally. It might make looking at objects at any distance less comfortable and more tiring. Poor lighting plays a big part in relation to the effects of presbyopia whereas it becomes less noticeable in sunlight or bright lights when the pupil naturally becomes smaller.

Blurry vision will be perceived more prominently in low, naturally-lit indoor environments. It’s important to note that presbyopia doesn’t just affect people who wear contact lenses or glasses; presbyopes may never have experienced eye strain, or an eye condition, before now. Most people only tend to take action on the condition when symptoms start to worsen, but eye care practitioners say the best way to go about treating presbyopia is by moving quickly. As soon as you experience a sign, book an eye test to find out what your correction options are.

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What are multifocal contact lenses?

You might see multifocal contact lenses referred to as varifocal contact lenses, progressive contact lenses or bifocal contact lenses, but they all have one thing in common: they effectively correct presbyopia. These lenses enable you to focus on objects at all distances. Back in the early days of lens technology, varifocal contacts weren’t quite what they are today. Contact lens innovation is constantly improving, and now you can expect a smooth and seamless transition when you look from far to near, which is what makes multifocal contact lenses so popular today.

Multifocal contact lenses come in daily, monthly and two weekly - so make sure you get some advice from your optician about what would suit your lifestyle best. 1 Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal are an absolute favourite among multifocal lens wearers, while other top sellers include Air Optix Aqua Multifocal and Dailies Total 1 Multifocal, all available in a selection of different powers.

I think I have presbyopia, what do I do?

If you experience one or more symptoms of presbyopia, the first step is to visit your local optician, who can properly fit you with lenses at the right prescription. We recommend that you ask for Johnson & Johnson Acuvue, as they are our most popular ones. Make sure you don’t get locked in a direct debit with your optician, as you might feel you have to during your lens fitting.

Direct debits mean you end up overspending and often having to wait for your prescription, leaving you without much deciding power. The most affordable and convenient way to go about getting your multifocal lenses is to browse our wide range of products by leading brands and choose what’s best for your prescription. Trust us, your eyes and wallet will thank you.

Will multifocal contact lenses work for me?

Multifocal contact lenses have been developing for many years, becoming the innovative medical solution they are today. They are now widely considered an amazing lifestyle improvement among people with presbyopia. They have improved the daily lives of millions of people around the world, so chances are they will work for you. But if you find that one product doesn’t suit you, we recommend trying another one, as they all work in unique ways.