Column: Alternatives for glasses abound


Commentary by Dr. Hannah Wilson

There are many situations where you may seek an alternative to glasses. Perhaps you don’t like how they affect your appearance, or maybe you’re tired of them sliding down while you exercise. You may think there is no other option, but that is a common misconception. Even if you have a complicated glasses prescription, you may be a candidate for contact lenses. Thanks to continual innovation, contact lenses are now available in a wide variety of parameters, making them a viable choice for the majority of patients.

Presbyopia, a normal aging process where our eyes gradually lose the ability to see up close, typically arises around the age of 40. In the past, when you developed presbyopia, you either exclusively wore glasses or wore reading glasses over the top of your distance contact lenses. Today, multifocal contact lenses provide functional vision at distance, intermediate and near. Another contact lens option for correcting presbyopia is monovison, where a distance contact lens is worn in one eye and a near contact lens is worn in the other, enabling you to see at multiple distances.

Astigmatism, where the curvature of the eye causes light to focus improperly, resulting in distorted vision, also previously prevented patients from successfully wearing contact lenses. Now, even significant levels of astigmatism can be corrected with toric contact lenses, and for patients who have both presbyopia and astigmatism, multifocal toric contact lenses exist.

Are you tired of your glasses and want a change? Schedule a contact lens fitting with your local optometrist. When fit properly, contact lenses can correct even conditions like presbyopia and astigmatism, enabling you to be glasses-free if that is what your heart desires.