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Multifocal Contact Lenses for the Baby Boomer
By Dr. Brian Lewy O.D. F.A.A.O.

Aging is a fact of life and all the trips to the gym, nutritionist, and Dermatologist for Botox, will not prevent your eyes from needing reading glasses when you approach the ripe age of 40. While multifocal eye glass lenses have been around for many years, recent developments in contact lenses now permit comfortable, clear vision in the distance and at near.

   In years past, bifocal contact lenses fell short in their goal of clear distance and near vision because of limitations in the technology. Common complaints included poor distance or near vision, glare, fluctuating vision and discomfort. Most people had to sacrifice some visual acuity and comfort in order to avoid reading glasses with the contact lenses. Some eye doctors even fit patients with Monovision, which is the wearing of one distance and one near contact lens. While in concept it seemed acceptable, in clinical practice it most often resulted in visual discomfort in the distance, near or both. In addition, monovision results in the elimination of binocular vision and thus depth perception. In my practice, only approximately 20% of these patients were happy with their vision.
Aging is a fact of life and all the trips to the gym, nutritionist, and Dermatologist for Botox, will not prevent your eyes from needing reading glasses when you approach the ripe age of 40.

   Fortunately, today there are better alternatives. The ability to combine spherical and aspheric curves results in a gradual change in power from the distance to near and a more natural visual experience. In addition, the biggest developement in this arena is the ability to correct astigmatism as well as near and farsightedness along with the near prescription. While there are several lenses available, I have found the Ultravue 2000T progressive soft contact lens the be the best. The edge design and availability of parameters makes it great for most patients. Once the eye doctor becomes familiar with the subtleties of the lens, fitting is straight forward and the results are spectacular. There are several Gas Permeable lenses also available and have wonderful results as well. My favorite is the Aspheric Progressive Multifocal from ICL. Fitting is more difficult, but for the right candidate, the results are outstanding.

   In short, if you wear contact lenses and are having trouble reading with them in, ask your eye doctor for the new multifocal contact lenses. They will turn back the clock and make contact lens wear great again. We fit well over 95% of our patients over 40 with one of these lenses. We can't keep your eyes young, but we can keep them seeing well.

Dr. Lewy received his OD degree from the New England College of Optometry where he graduated with Beta Sigma Kappa academic honors after graduating from Hamilton College. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a senior examiner for the National Board of Examiners in Optmetry, and was an intern at the SUNY College of Optometry in NY in Vision Therapy. Dr. Lewy has been in practice for 23 years and is a partner in a large multispecialty practice in Manhattan

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