Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

  • By lemaster
  • 19 Oct, 2015

Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

If you have astigmatism - a common condition where the eye isn't perfectly round, but more football- or egg-shaped - then you'll need specially designed contact lenses to achieve clear vision.

You have several options: "Toric" soft contact lenses are the most common choice, but there are also gas permeable (RGP or GP) lenses and hybrid lenses.

How Do Toric Lenses Work?

When you have astigmatism, different meridians of your eye need different amounts of correction for nearsightedness or farsightedness. Imagine the front of your eye is like the face of a clock: A line drawn from the 12 to the 6 is one meridian, a line from the 1 to the 7 is another, and so on.

Soft toric contact lenses have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct variations in the eye's shape. They also have design elements to keep the lens from rotating on your eye, so the meridians of the lens stay aligned with the meridians of your eye.

Today, you can choose from many brands and styles of soft toric lenses. So if Brand A doesn't fit properly or rotates too much, Brand B may perform better. Getting a good toric fit might mean trying a few brands of lenses.

Many Options in Soft Toric Lenses

Soft toric lenses are available for daily wear (lenses you remove before sleep) and extended wear (lenses approved for overnight wear). There are also soft toric lenses to enhance or change your eye color and multifocal toric lenses if you have presbyopia.

And if soft toric lenses don't adequately correct your astigmatism, gas permeable lenses will often do the trick.

Gas Permeable Lenses for Astigmatism

If you have a mild to moderate amount of astigmatism, you may want to consider gas permeable contact lenses. GP lenses usually provide sharper vision than soft toric lenses. And because GP lenses are rigid and maintain their shape on the eye, a toric design usually isn't needed. The astigmatism due to unequal curves on the front surface of your eye is corrected by a layer of tears that forms between your eye and the spherical back surface of the GP lens.

If you have a stronger prescription, or if regular gas permeable lenses fail to correct your astigmatism adequately, toric GP lens designs are also available.

Hybrid Contact Lenses

Hybrid lenses have a rigid GP center surrounded by a "skirt" of soft lens material. The idea of hybrids is to combine the excellent optics of a GP lens with the comfort of a soft lens. And unlike soft lenses, the vision provided by hybrids does not depend on position, so lens rotation is not an issue.

Cost of Contacts for Astigmatism

Properly fitting a soft toric contact lens takes more time and requires more expertise than fitting regular soft contacts. Fitting GPs and hybrids can take more time and expertise as well, and lens material cost is higher than with spherical contact lenses. Consequently, our fees for patients with astigmatism are higher than our regular contact lens fees.

Call for More Information

Call our office today to learn more about contact lens options for astigmatism and to schedule a contact lens consultation to find out which lenses are the best solution for you.

Article ©2015 Access Media Group LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction other than for one-time personal use is strictly prohibited.
By lemaster 28 Feb, 2017
Dry eyes is a common condition that many people experience. Your eyes may become dry, red, and inflamed, and some people also experience discomfort and sensitivity to light. There are more than 3 million cases of dry eyes in the U.S. per year, which means there is a lot of information about the condition and how to treat it.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Several factors and diseases can cause dry eyes. Dry eyes are a result of a lack of adequate tears, and tears are made up of a mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus. Tears help to make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, helping you to avoid eye infections and irritation. Decreased tear production or an increased tear evaporation and imbalance in the makeup of your tears are two common causes of dry eyes. Other factors contributing to dry eyes can include:

  • Aging
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, thyroid disorders, and vitamin A deficiency
  • Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, drugs for high blood pressure, acne, and birth control
  • Laser eye surgery (symptoms usually temporary)
  • Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation
Find Dry Eye Relief

There is treatment for this type of condition. Common forms of treatment include prescription and lubricating eye drops to reduce dryness. There are products available for purchase at drug stores, including artificial tears, and eye drops. Dr. Lee and associates can also prescribe medical eye drops to make patients more comfortable and reduce symptoms. If you feel you have dry eyes, please call us today to schedule an appointment.
By lemaster 18 Nov, 2016

Your eyes reveal a lot about your overall health. This makes going to the eye doctor once a year important for everyone, regardless if you have prescription eye glasses or contact lenses. Our comprehensive eye exam checks for the following:

1.    Complete evaluation of eye symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

2.    Refraction for glasses prescription

3.    Contact Lens Evaluation, performed as needed

4.    Ocular motility testing/depth perceptual (3D) testing

5.    Automated visual field testing

6.    Eye balance testing

7.    Color vision - Ishihara or Farnsworth D-15 testing

8.    Glaucoma testing

9.    Cataract Testing

10.   Diabetes testing - use of retinal photos or dilation

11.   Complete eye health assessment

12.   Blood Pressure

13.   Retinal examination

            Most eye diseases do not display symptoms in the beginning stages, therefore you could have an issue with your eyes and not even know it. Annual eye exams are essential to early diagnosis and treatment of conditions. In more extreme cases, doing so can save you from losing your vision entirely.          

Some of the most common symptoms you could experience if you have an eye disease are as follows:

1.    Complete loss of peripheral vision

2.    Sudden loss of vision

3.    Slowly or suddenly blurred vision

4.    Eye floaters

5.    Sudden increased reaction to bright lights or sunlight glare

6.    Eye discomfort

            If you do notice yourself suffering from an eye symptom, schedule an exam as soon as possible. Ignoring a symptom can become increasingly more uncomfortable and could also make the problem much worse than it has to be. We are here to help and will be sure to evaluate all your symptoms so that we can get to the root of your issue and provide you with the best treatment possible.

By lemaster 23 Jun, 2016

Many eye conditions are common problems experienced by millions of people around the globe. When you visit the eye doctor, whether it’s for a specific reason or just for your checkup, you don’t have to feel alone if you have some of these common problems: dry eyes, cataracts, and retinal disorders.

Dry Eyes

Whether it’s from allergies or it’s simply a year-round issue, dry eyes affect more than 3 million people in the U.S. each year. They are treatable but oftentimes self-diagnosed because it’s truly only noticeable by the sole person. Dry eyes are simply just as it claims — an inadequate amount of moisture in the eyes and therefore can lead to inflammation. Dry eyes are also referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

With dry eyes, minor discomfort may occur and light sensitivity is common. To help with the discomfort, prescription and lubricating eye drops are available.


There are more than 200,000 cases of cataracts in the U.S. each year. This is a chronic condition that can last for years or even an entire lifetime, but can also be treatable by a specialist. This condition requires a medical diagnosis by an optometrist, as cataracts tend to develop slowly over time.

Everyone is susceptible to developing cataracts, especially those that spend a fair amount of time outside. Many times, the progression of cataracts can be slowed by wearing sunglasses when outdoors. Those who spend more time outdoors and do not wear sunglasses will require surgery much sooner than those who wear sunglasses or do not spend as much time outside.

Typically, the main symptoms are blurry vision and having trouble seeing in certain lighting — dim lighting, or seeing halos around lights. Surgery is available for cataract correction. When cataracts disturb someone’s day-to-day tasks, it is highly recommended that they undergo the replacement of the cloudy lens with a clear, artificial lens.

Retinal Disorders

Retinal is the chemical basis for vision. There are many different retinal disorders that people may be faced to cope with, all affecting visual clarity, including:

·        Macular degeneration: this is a disease that destroys the sharp, clear, main focus of vision.

·        Diabetic eye disease: this disease is found in those who suffer from diabetes. Due to the fluctuation in blood sugar, there is damage done to the blood vessels in the back of the eye where the retina is.

·        Retinal detachment: this is considered a medical emergency, and it’s when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye.

·        Retinoblastoma: this is cancer of the retina.

These are just a few of the common, and sometimes severe, cases of retinal disorders. All are diagnosed by a specialist and can be cared for on a case-by-case basis. Visit your optometrist to learn more about your eyes and have your vision assessed today.

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

The cost of routine eye exams and prescription eyewear can be of real concern, especially for large families. In many cases, vision insurance can lower these annual expenses.

A vision insurance policy is not the same as health insurance. Regular health insurance plans protect you against financial losses due to unexpected eye injuries or disease. Vision insurance, on the other hand, is a wellness benefit designed to provide routine eye care, prescription eyewear and other vision-related services at a reduced cost.

Where Can I Get Vision Insurance?

Group vision insurance can be obtained through your company, association, school district, etc., or through a government program such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Also, as an individual, you have the option of purchasing your own vision benefit plan.

Vision insurance is often a value-added benefit included in indemnity health insurance plans, health maintenance organization (HMO) plans and plans offered by preferred provider organizations (PPOs):

  • Indemnity health insurance is traditional insurance, which allows policyholders to access medical providers of their choice.
  • An HMO is a group of healthcare professionals - doctors, laboratories, hospitals and the like - employed to provide health care services to plan members at discounted rates. Usually, health plan members are required to access health care only from HMO providers.
  • A PPO is a network of healthcare professionals organized to provide healthcare services to plan members at a fixed rate below "retail" prices. Plan members may opt to access out-of-network providers, but usually at a greater cost.

What Kinds of Vision Insurance Plans Are Available?

Vision insurance typically comes in the form of either a vision benefits package or a discount vision plan.

Typically, a vision benefits package provides enrollees eye care services in exchange for an annual premium or membership fee, a yearly deductible (a dollar amount) for each enrolled member and a co-pay (a smaller dollar amount) each time a member accesses a service.

A discount vision plan provides eye care at fixed discounted rates after an annual premium or membership fee and a deductible are paid.

Both kinds of vision insurance can be custom-designed to meet the different requirements of a wide range of customers, including school districts, unions, and big and small companies.

What Does Vision Insurance Cover?

Vision insurance generally covers the following services and products:

  • Annual eye examinations
  • Eyeglass frames
  • Eyeglass lenses
  • Contact lenses
  • LASIK and PRK vision correction at discounted rates

Generally, services acquired from network providers are cheaper than services from out-of-network providers.

What Are My Payment Options?

Typically, if group vision insurance is available from your employer, you pay for it through payroll deductions or flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

An FSA, sometimes called a cafeteria plan, allows an employee to use pre-tax dollars to purchase selected health benefits such as vision insurance. You save money because you receive the full benefit of income that has been set aside for health costs, making it not subject to or reduced by taxation.

If you purchase an individual vision insurance plan because your employer doesn't offer a group plan (or because you are self-employed), you can expect to be billed monthly or annually.

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

Many normal, age-related problems affecting vision can be addressed with practical solutions, such as extra lighting for reading recipes or tinkering with garage projects.

In fact, after about age 60, you may find you need additional illumination for most tasks performed indoors or in darker conditions outdoors. This is because your eye's   pupil   no longer opens as widely as it once did to allow light to enter. Because less light is reaching your   retina,   where vision processing occurs, images are no longer as sharp as they once were.

To help offset this problem, you might consider extra steps such as:

  • Installing task lighting underneath kitchen cabinets or above stoves to help illuminate darker corners.
  • Making sure you have enough lighting to brighten work surfaces in your garage, sewing room or other areas where you need to see fine details.
  • Asking your employer to install additional lighting, if needed, at your work space.

Also, make sure you have regular eye exams that include critical tests for older eyes to rule out potentially serious age-related eye diseases that may affect vision quality. Your eye doctor also can advise you about the best vision correction options to reduce the effects of normal age-related declines in near vision, color vision and contrast sensitivity.

Cataracts, which are very common in the over-60 age group, also can cause cloudy or hazy vision. Cataracts usually are easily remedied with surgery that removes the eye's cloudy lens and replaces it with an artificial one.

What Can You Do About Permanent Vision Loss?

Unfortunately, some age-related eye diseases — including glaucoma, advanced macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy — can cause serious vision loss and blind spots.

Many low vision devices are available to assist people with permanent vision loss so they can perform daily living tasks more easily. These devices include:

  • Strong magnifying lenses with extra illumination for reading and other near vision work.
  • Audio tapes, specially adapted computer or television screens, and telescopes.
  • Lens filters and shields to reduce glare.

Vision Loss and the Elderly

One disturbing trend noted in recent years has been an increased tendency in our society to overlook or neglect the vision correction needs of elderly citizens, including those living in nursing homes.

As an example, researchers say almost one third of older Americans diagnosed with glaucoma receive no treatment for this potentially blinding eye disease.

Consequences of delaying vision correction or needed treatment, especially in elderly people, can be severe. Uncorrected vision problems can contribute to falls that seriously injure elderly people and greatly reduce their confidence in their ability to live independently.

If you have older relatives or friends living alone or in a nursing home, consider serving as their advocate to make sure they receive appropriate vision care and treatment of age-related eye diseases, to maximize their quality of life.

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

Just as our physical strength decreases with age, our eyes also exhibit an age-related decline in performance - particularly as we reach our 60s and beyond.

Some age-related eye changes, such as presbyopia, are perfectly normal and don't signify any sort of disease process. Similarly, cataracts can be considered an age-related disease that is extremely common among seniors and can be readily corrected with cataract surgery.

Some of us, however, will experience more serious age-related eye diseases that have greater potential for affecting our quality of life as we grow older. These conditions include glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

When Do Age-Related Vision Changes Occur?

Presbyopia. After you pass the milestone age of 40, you'll notice it's more difficult to focus on objects up close. This normal loss of focusing ability is called presbyopia and is due to hardening of the lens inside your eye.

For a time, you can compensate for this decline in focusing ability by just holding reading material farther away from your eyes. But eventually you'll need reading glasses, multifocal contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses. Some corrective surgery options for presbyopia also are available, such as monovision LASIK and conductive keratoplasty (CK).

Cataracts. Even though cataracts are considered an age-related eye disease, they are so common among seniors that they can also be classified as a normal aging change. According to the Mayo Clinic, about half of all 65-year-old Americans have some degree of cataract formation in their eyes. As you enter your 70s, the percentage is even higher. It's estimated that by 2020 more than 30 million Americans will have cataracts.

Thankfully, modern cataract surgery is extremely safe and so effective that 100% of vision lost to cataract formation usually is restored. If you are noticing vision changes due to cataracts, don't hesitate to discuss symptoms with your eye doctor. It's often better to have cataracts removed before they advance too far. Also, multifocal lens implants are now available. These advanced intraocular lenses (IOLs) potentially can restore all ranges of vision, thus reducing your need for reading glasses as well as distance glasses after cataract surgery.

Major Age-Related Eye Diseases

Macular degeneration. Macular degeneration (also called age-related macular degeneration or AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among American seniors. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), macular degeneration affects more than 1.75 million people in the United States. The U.S. population is aging rapidly, and this number is expected to increase to almost 3 million by 2020. Currently there is no cure for AMD, but medical treatment may slow its progression or stabilize it.

Glaucoma. Your risk of developing glaucoma increases with each decade after age 40 - from around 1% in your 40s to up to 12% in your 80s. The number of Americans with glaucoma is expected to increase by 50% (to 3.6 million) by 2020. If detected early enough, glaucoma can often be controlled with medical treatment or surgery, and vision loss can be prevented.

Diabetic retinopathy. According to the NEI, approximately 10.2 million Americans over age 40 are known to have diabetes. Many experts believe that up to 30% of people who have diabetes have not yet been diagnosed. Among known diabetics over age 40, NEI estimates that 40% have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and one of every 12 people with diabetes in this age group has advanced, vision-threatening retinopathy. Controlling the underlying diabetic condition in its early stages is the key to preventing vision loss.

How Aging Affects Other Eye Structures

While normally we think of aging as it relates to conditions such as presbyopia and cataracts, more subtle changes in our vision and eye structures also take place as we grow older. These changes include:

  • Reduced pupil size.   As we age, muscles that control our pupil size and reaction to light lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting.
    Because of these changes, people in their 60s need three times more ambient light for comfortable reading than those in their 20s. Also, seniors are more likely to be dazzled by bright sunlight and glare when emerging from a dimly lit building such as a movie theater. Eyeglasses with photochromic lenses and anti-reflective coating can help reduce this problem.
  • Dry eyes.   As we age, our bodies produce fewer tears. This is particularly true for women after menopause. If you begin to experience burning, stinging or other eye discomfort related to dry eyes, your eye doctor can help you select an artificial tear or prescription dry eye medication to increase your comfort throughout the day.
  • Loss of peripheral vision.   Aging also causes a normal loss of peripheral vision, with the size of our visual field decreasing by approximately one to three degrees per decade of life. By the time you reach your 70s and 80s, you may have a peripheral visual field loss of 20 to 30 degrees.

Because the loss of visual field increases the risk for automobile accidents, make sure you are more cautious when driving. To increase your range of vision, turn your head and look both ways when approaching intersections.  

  • Decreased color vision.   Cells in the retina that are responsible for normal color vision decline in sensitivity as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable. In particular, blue colors may appear faded or "washed out." While there is no treatment for this normal, age-related loss of color perception, you should be aware of this loss if your profession (for example, artist, seamstress or electrician) requires fine color discrimination.
  • Vitreous detachment.   As we age, the gel-like vitreous inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing "spots and floaters" and (sometimes) flashes of light. This condition, called vitreous detachment, is usually harmless. But floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a retinal detachment - a serious problem that can cause blindness if not treated immediately. If you experience flashes and floaters, see your eye doctor immediately to determine the cause.

What You Can Do About Age-Related Vision Changes

A healthy diet and wise lifestyle choices - including exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress and not smoking - are your best natural defenses against vision loss as you age. Also, have regular eye exams with a caring and knowledgeable optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Be sure to talk to your eye doctor about any concerns you have about your eyes and vision. Tell them about any history of eye problems in your family and any health problems you may have. Also, let your eye doctor know about any medications you take, including non-prescription vitamins, herbs and supplements.

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

Sight-threatening eye problems affect one in six adults aged 45 and older. And the risk for vision loss increases with age. In fact, a recent American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) report estimates that more than 43 million Americans will develop age-related eye diseases by 2020.

Tips for Protecting Your Eyes

To protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy as you age, consider these simple guidelines:

  • Be aware of your risk for eye diseases.   Find out about your family's health history. Do you or any of your family members suffer from diabetes or have high blood pressure? Are you over the age of 65? Are you an African-American over the age of 40? Any or all of these traits increase your risk for sight-threatening eye diseases. Regular eye exams can detect problems early and help preserve your eyesight.
  • Have regular exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure.   If left untreated, these diseases can cause eye problems. In particular, diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
  • Look for changes in your vision.   If you start noticing changes in your vision, see your eye doctor immediately. Trouble signs include double vision, hazy vision and difficulty seeing in low light conditions. Other signs to look for are frequent flashes of light, floaters, and eye pain and swelling. All of these signs and symptoms can indicate a potential eye health problem that needs immediate attention.
  • Exercise more frequently.   According to the AAO, some studies suggest that regular exercise - such as walking - can reduce the risk of macular degeneration by up to 70%.
  • Protect your eyes from the sun's UV rays.   You should always wear sunglasses with proper UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. This may reduce your risk of cataracts and other eye damage.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet.   Numerous studies have shown that antioxidants can possibly reduce the risk of cataracts. These antioxidants are obtained from eating a diet containing plentiful amounts of fruits and colorful or dark green vegetables. Studies have also shown that eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also prevent macular degeneration.
  • Get your eyes checked at least every two years.   A thorough eye exam, including dilating your pupils, can detect major eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, which has no early warning signs or symptoms. A comprehensive eye exam also can ensure that your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses is accurate and up-to-date.
  • Don't smoke.   The many dangers of smoking have been well documented. When it comes to eye health, people who smoke are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Following these steps is no guarantee of perfect vision throughout your lifetime. But maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having regular eye exams will certainly decrease your risk of sight-stealing eye problems and help you enjoy your precious gift of eyesight to the fullest.

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

An occupational lens is a type of multifocal that is specifically suited for performing a particular job or hobby. Glasses with these lenses are special-purpose eyewear and are not designed for everyday wear. By strategically placing t he near, intermediate and far vision zones on certain areas of the lens,   specific visual tasks are made easier.

The Double-D Bifocal: For Reading and Overhead Near Work

The Double-D is an occupational bifocal that consists of a D-shaped flat-top bifocal at the bottom of the lens and an upside-down flat-top near segment located at the top of the lens. The rest of the lens area consists of distance correction.

People in occupations such as auto maintenance and repair can benefit from a Double-D occupational bifocal. This design allows workers to be able to see well up-close, both when looking down and when looking up to work on the undercarriage of a car on a lift. Mail clerks and others who read documents and may need to file them overhead might also find this lens useful at work.

The E-D Trifocal: For When You Need to See Everywhere, but Especially at Arm's Length

The E-D trifocal has the distance correction in the top half of the lens and an intermediate correction for vision at arm's length in the bottom half of the lens. The line separating these two zones extends across the entire width of the lens, like an Executive bifocal. But in the E-D trifocal, a small D-shaped segment for near vision is embedded within the intermediate zone.

The E-D trifocal is an excellent choice for someone who needs a wide field of view at arm's length, but also needs to see clearly close up and in the distance. A television production person, who must keep an eye on several TV monitors while being able to read notes from a clipboard and recognize someone across the room, would be a good candidate for this lens.

Need to Read All Day at Work?

Sometimes, a common multifocal can become an occupational lens simply by changing the position of the intermediate or near segment or the characteristics of the progressive design.

For example, if your job requires you to read most of the day, you may want to consider a separate pair of glasses for work that have the bifocal or trifocal segments placed higher than normal in the lens. This would enable you to read or use your computer for extended periods without having to tip your head back in an uncomfortable posture.

Or you may want to try an "office" progressive lens, which has a larger, wider intermediate zone for computer use and a smaller zone for distance vision. These occupational lenses give you more usable vision for your computer and desk work, yet still provide adequate distance vision for spotting people across the room. However, because the distance zone of occupational progressive lenses is limited, they're not suitable for driving or for other tasks that require a wide field of view in the distance.

What About on the Golf Course?

If you're a golfer and wear multifocal lenses, you know these lenses can be a problem on the course. The near vision zones of bifocal, trifocal and progressive lenses can interfere with your view of the ball, requiring you to tilt your head down in an uncomfortable posture. Everyday multifocals can also make lining up a putt much more difficult.

The solution? Consider trying an occupational multifocal commonly called a "golfer's bifocal." The small (usually round) near segment is placed very low and in the outside corner of just one lens, so it's completely out of the way when you address your ball or line up a putt. But it still gives you enough near vision to read your scorecard or browse a menu for lunch in the clubhouse.

Customized Eyewear Solutions

Nearly all adults - especially anyone over age 40 who needs multifocal lenses - can benefit from having more than one pair of eyeglasses, with the second pair having an occupational design.  

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

Progressive addition lenses (also called progressives or PALs) are the most popular multifocal lenses sold in the United States. Sometimes called "no-line bifocals," these line-free multifocals provide a more complete vision solution than bifocals. Instead of having just two lens powers like a bifocal - one for distance vision and one for up close - progressives have a gradual change in power from the top to the bottom of the lens, providing a range of powers for clear vision far away, up close and everywhere in between.

Progressive lenses provide the closest thing to natural vision after the onset of presbyopia - the normal age-related loss of near vision that occurs after age 40. The gradual change of power in progressives allows you to look up to see in the distance, look straight ahead to clearly see your computer or other objects at arm's length, and drop your gaze downward to read and do fine work comfortably close up.

While progressive lenses typically are worn by middle-aged and older adults, a recent study suggests that they may also be able to slow progression of myopia in children whose parents also are nearsighted.

Choosing the Right Frame for Progressive Lenses

Because a progressive lens changes in power from top to bottom, these lenses require frames that have a vertical dimension that is tall enough for all powers to be included in the finished eyewear. If the frame is too small, the distance or near zone of the progressive lens may end up too small for comfortable viewing when the lens is cut to fit into the frame.

To solve this problem and to expand options in frame styles, most progressive lens manufacturers now offer "short corridor" lens designs that fit in smaller frames. Today, an experienced optician can usually find a progressive lens that will work well in nearly any frame you choose.

Different Progressives for Different Purposes

Many different progressive lenses are available on the market today, and each has its own unique design characteristics. There are even progressive lenses designed for specific activities. For example, for the computer user, special "occupational" progressive lenses are available with an extra-wide intermediate zone to maximize comfort when working at the computer for prolonged periods of time. Other designs for office work have a larger reading portion.


It may take a few minutes to a few days before you are completely comfortable with your first pair of progressive lenses, or when you change from one progressive lens design to another. You have to learn how to use the lenses so that you are always looking through the best part of the lens for the distance you are viewing. While you get used to the lenses, you may notice a slight sensation of movement when you quickly move your eyes or your head. But for most wearers, progressive lenses are comfortable right from the start.

By lemaster 05 Nov, 2015

Once we reach our mid-40s, presbyopia - the normal, age-related loss of flexibility of the lens inside our eye - makes it difficult for us to focus on near objects.

In the past, reading glasses were the only option available to contact lens wearers who wanted to read a menu or do other everyday tasks that require good near vision.

Today, a number of multifocal contact lens options are available for you to consider. Multifocal contact lenses offer the best of both worlds: no glasses, along with good near and distance vision.

Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses

Some multifocal contact lenses have a bifocal design with two distinct lens powers - one for your distance vision and one for near. Others have a multifocal design somewhat like progressive eyeglass lenses, with a gradual change in lens power for a natural visual transition from distance to close-up.

Multifocal contacts are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lens materials and are designed for daily wear or extended (overnight) wear. Soft multifocal lenses can be worn comfortably on a part-time basis, so they're great for weekends and other occasions if you prefer not to wear them on an all-day, every day schedule.

For the ultimate in convenience, one-day disposable soft multifocal lenses allow you to discard the lenses at the end of a single day of wear, so there's no hassle with lens care.

In some cases, GP multifocal contact lenses provide sharper vision than soft multifocals. But because of their rigid nature, GP multifocal contacts require some adaptation and are more comfortable if you condition your eyes by wearing the lenses every day.

Hybrid multifocal contacts are an exciting new alternative. These lenses have a GP center and a soft periphery, making it easier to adapt.

Astigmatism? No Problem

All types of multifocal contact lenses - GP, soft, and hybrid - are available to correct astigmatism at the same time as presbyopia.


Until you have a contact lens fitting, there's no way to know for sure if you'll be able to adapt successfully to wearing multifocal contact lenses. If multifocal lenses aren't comfortable or don't give you adequate vision, a monovision contact lens fitting may be a good alternative.

Monovision uses your dominant eye for distance vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. Right-handed people tend to be right-eye dominant, and left-handed folks left-eye dominant. But your eyecare professional will perform testing to make that determination.

Usually, single vision contact lenses are used for monovision. One advantage here is that single vision lenses are less costly to replace, lowering your annual contact lens expenses. But in some cases, better results can be achieved using a single vision lens on the dominant eye for distance vision and a multifocal lens on the other eye for intermediate and near vision. Other times, your eyecare professional may choose a distance-biased multifocal on your dominant eye and a near-biased multifocal on the other eye. These techniques are referred to as "modified monovision" fits.

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