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31 October 2011

Presbyopic Contact Lenses Fitting: What’s New, What’s Coming and What Works!
Caroline Christie BSc (Hons) FCOptom DipCLP FIACLE

Abstract

With an ever expanding patient base of presbyopes the potential for practice building is so great that it is now viable to offer ALL suitable presbyopes the opportunity to experience the latest contact lenses designs. Understandably existing contact lens patients expect to remain in contact lenses offering the same degree of comfort as they currently experience and a high level of functional vision, without the need for reduced wearing times and “top-up” spectacles.

Today’s presbyopes are a totally different breed from those of previous decades. They have grown up in a fast changing technological world, where most constantly use devices that require enormous intermediate focus demands! The majority of them possess mobile phones, electronic organizers and spend hours in front of computers at work and socially surfing the Internet. Leisure time involves them in a wide range of activities that require high visual demands and long hours of comfortable wear.

Practitioners still often refrain from fitting emerging presbyopes with the latest multifocal lens designs as they perceive them as too complex or offering low success rates and instead they use the stereoscopically challenging concept of monovision.

The latest generation of lens materials, designs and manufacturing techniques have resulted in contact lenses for presbyopia that allow practitioners to meet the visual demands of a wider group of patients. The increased interest and expectation in contact lens correction among presbyopic patients mean these new designs should be seriously and actively considered by contact lens practitioners.

Previously lenses may not be available in the higher add powers and require a move to modified monovision, this is no longer the case with the latest multifocal lenses. The correction of even low levels of astigmatism is crucial and specialist designs offering this option will be examined.