WITH ’60 being the new 40′ and ’80 being the new 50′, we are all striving to look and feel younger and it’s not just crow’s feet and wrinkles that ageing brings. The deterioration of our vision in our mid 40’s is growing the multifocal contact lens market at 20 per cent, year-on-year.
As we get older the lens of our eye loses the ability to focus in and out, the way it used to do and while we all feel our sight fading, many of us fight wearing glasses. Is this down to vanity or practicability? We all know how impractical glasses are: peripheral vision is not great when driving, they steam up in wet weather and they’re no good when playing sports or at the gym.
Lindsey Robins, eCommerce marketing manager at GetLenses.co.uk, explains her experience with glasses:
“For me it wasn’t about vanity at all, I just couldn’t get on with verifocal glasses as I liked small frames. On the one occasion I did buy a pair I seemed to spend all my time trying to find the right bit of lens to look through. So, I had three different pairs of glasses for reading, driving and computer which led to me spending most of my time looking for the right pair.”
So, what are the alternatives to glasses?
- Multifocal contact lenses. This market is dominated by Ciba Vision’s Air Optix Aqua Multifocal and Focus Dailies Progressive with over 50 per cent of the market share. However, new generation silicone hydrogel multifocal lenses like Coopervision’s Biofinity Multifocal offer increased wearing length and comfort and clearer vision for people who need sharp reading vision as a priority. New generation lenses also offer distance correction through the peripheral part of the lens and near correction through the more central part of the lens, or alternately, distance correction through the centre of the lens and near correction in the peripheral part of the lens. A trial of wearing these lenses will let you know if either of these lens styles can provide you with satisfactory vision. Early results with these lenses have been encouraging.
- Bifocal contact lenses. Bifocal contact lenses work in a similar way to bifocal glasses, distance and close-up correction on each contact. Distance at the top and reading at the bottom of the lens which is weighted to keep it in the correct position. These lenses are often difficult to fit and do not provide the most vision.
- Monovision contact lenses. With monovision contacts, you wear a contact lens for distance vision in your dominant eye and a contact lens for close-up vision in your non dominant eye. This works great if the difference between your long and short sighted prescriptions is not too great.
“I am +3 for reading and +1 for driving and this system didn’t work for me. I could see fine to drive but reading vision was blurred. However, my CEO swears by monovision so it is definitely worth talking through the options with your optician,” says Lindsey.
- Modified monovision. With this option, you wear a multifocal contact lens in one eye and a lens for distance in the other eye. You use both for distance and one for reading and in time your brain learns which one favour so you don’t have to learn to use one or the other.
If we take Australia as our bench mark, where long term prescribing data is available, we will see a complete turnaround from monovision to multifocal lenses. This is due to a greater confidence in these lenses by opticians and the greater number of multifocal lenses on the market.
If you suffer with presbyopia or have worn reading glasses or contact lenses for years and now feel your distance vision is fading or vice versa, talk to your optician about multifocal contact lenses.
Lindsey continues: “It took me three visits and dozens of trials to get the vision I needed at all distances so be prepared for a long and weary journey. It will be worth it in the end, and the freedom you gain is a eureka moment that will change your life and how you live it. It did for me.”
Founded in 2002 by Brendan O’Brien, GetLenses.co.uk can pride themselves on being started by opticians who understand the importance of eye care and health. The website has since grown to become the UK’s largest online retailer of contact lenses. The company’s aim is to offer the widest range of contact lenses, solutions and eye care products, delivered quickly to your door, at unbeatable prices with the highest standard of customer service.
eCommerce Marketing Manager
Suite 3a Lyttelton House, 2 Lyttelton Road, London N2 0EF
Tel: 020 8099 8272