DP Eyecare Column: Readers without wearing glasses?
Q: I have been needing “readers” for a few years now, and while putting them on and off has been a nuisance, the fogging I have now with my Covid mask makes them even worse! Any suggestions?
A: Yours is a very common problem these days for people wearing readers, and for folks wearing regular glasses too. There are some very good anti-fog solutions you apply to your lenses to reduce fogging, but they vary widely in how well and how long they last. Ask your eye doc or optician for recommendation.
We have had many, many patients since Covid choose to begin or resume soft contact lenses to truly solve this problem. For everyone over 40, our near vision begins decreasing so that reading becomes more and more frustrating. Good news, however, in that just since 2019 we now have excellent “multifocal” contacts that are designed to give you good near vision, and they can be prescribed also with your distance vision correction if needed!
These multifocal contacts provide up to three different focusing ranges…..meaning we can prescribe your lenses to give you clear vision up close for your phone, plus a focus for arm’s length for your screen, and even distance if needed for driving. And thank heavens our brain is pretty “smart”…..it will learn to use the part of the lens you need automatically. So unlike bifocal or progressive glasses, you don’t even need to move your eyes up or down to find the right power.
These new contacts are not perfect, and not everyone finds their vision perfect at all distances. But most people, about 80%, find their vision so comfortable and more normal compared to glasses ( and without the annoying fogging ) that they love wearing contacts to be free of glasses. Our practice, like most, will prescribe your contacts and have your wear them in your normal life for a several days before you decide to continue and actually buy lenses. Some patients do need some “fine-tuning” in the lens prescriptions after a few days to improve some aspect of their vision. If so, you may have one follow up visit with your eye doctor to achieve your best all around vision.
If contacts would be new to you, rest assured that now days the lenses are extremely soft and moist and thin, so that most people do not even feel the lenses after just couple minutes. And learning how to place a lens on your eye, and to remove it that evening, is not difficult but takes a little practice. We typically show patients a lens handling video, and then personally teach them how to easily handle their new contacts. So again, nothing is medicine is 100%, but these new lens designs have been very successful and well received by most people. Talk to your eye doctor about your multifocal contact lens options and take a pair for a “test drive”!