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Top 10 Contact Lenses for Presbyopia

Written by Andrew Le, MD

UpdatedMarch 1, 2024

Aging stands out as the primary risk factor for presbyopia. Its impact is widespread, affecting 128 million Americans, with a heightened prevalence among individuals over 45, encompassing nearly 90% of this demographic.

Numerous studies have underscored the universal challenge of presbyopia. A 2020 study revealed that 22% of presbyopic individuals reported declining quality-of-life scores. Additionally, 12% of presbyopic individuals require assistance with routine tasks, leading to increased distress and a drop in self-esteem.

Furthermore, there was an estimated annual global productivity loss of $11 billion in the working-age population in 2011. If all individuals under 65 were considered part of the workforce, this figure would increase to $25.4 billion.

As individuals with presbyopia increasingly seek independence from wearing glasses, various solutions, including contact lenses, offer promising avenues. This article will explore the diverse options of contact lenses for presbyopia, guiding you to find the right fit and address your vision needs effectively.

Understanding Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition associated with aging that leads to a reduced ability of the eye lens to focus on close objects. This natural change is widespread among adults and is a major factor in near vision decline as people age. Approximately 80% of individuals aged 45 to 55 in North America experience presbyopia, and about 16% lack proper correction for this condition.

The root cause of presbyopia is primarily due to the diminishing flexibility of the eye’s lens. This flexibility is essential for adjusting focus and transitioning from distant to close-up objects. As the lens loses flexibility, proper light convergence on the retina is compromised, resulting in blurred vision at close distances.

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Source: Vision Source

Presbyopia can be remedied through the application of eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgical interventions. An eye care specialist might suggest different ways to address presbyopia based on a person’s health, lifestyle, and preferences.

Types of Contact Lenses for Presbyopia

Contact lenses provide a more natural vision correction by directly sitting on the eye. This allows wearers to experience more realistic and distortion-free vision than with eyeglasses. In many countries, about 25–35% of contact lens fittings involve using lenses to correct presbyopia.

Various contact lens options are available to address presbyopia, providing individuals with clear vision at different distances. Here are some common types of contact lenses for presbyopia:

Multifocal Contact Lenses

Multifocal contact lenses incorporate different prescription powers within the same lens. This allows wearers to see clearly up close and at a distance without needing reading glasses or multiple pairs of glasses. The lens is typically divided into zones, catering to a specific range of vision. For example, the center of the lens might be designed for close-up tasks like reading, while the outer portion is optimized for distance vision.

Monovision Contact Lenses

Before multifocal lenses were available, monovision lenses were the preferred contact lens solution for individuals with presbyopia.

In monovision, each eye is given a different prescription. One eye is corrected for distance vision, and the other eye is corrected for near vision. Typically, the dominant eye is set for distance vision, while the non-dominant eye is set for near vision.

The brain automatically prioritizes input from one eye for distance and the other for close-up tasks. This setup allows individuals to have functional vision at both distances without needing reading glasses or bifocal lenses.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) Lenses

Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is an FDA-approved treatment for nearsightedness (myopia). Recently, it has been discovered that Ortho-K can also treat farsightedness (hyperopia) and presbyopia through corneal steepening.

Source: Bellport Eye Center

It involves wearing specially designed contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea temporarily. This reshaping allows light to focus correctly on the retina and helps improve vision during the day without needing glasses or contact lenses.

Top 10 Best Contact Lenses For Presbyopia

A comprehensive analysis conducted in 2020 revealed that around 21.7% of individuals using contact lenses discontinue their usage due to vision-related challenges and discomfort. To avoid this situation, we've crafted a guide to help you select the most suitable contact lens for your presbyopic needs. Our curated list takes into account key considerations, including:

  • Optical performance
  • Compatibility with different prescriptions
  • Affordability
  • Ease of use and comfort
  • Insights from users

Explore our recommended options below to ensure a seamless and optimal solution for your presbyopia correction.

Disclaimer:

The details, information, and prices provided in this article are accurate as of the time of writing. These details may vary over time due to product updates, market changes, or other external influences. We recommend verifying any crucial information or prices with relevant sources, as fluctuations and updates are possible.

ULTRA for Presbyopia

ULTRA for Presbyopia is an innovative solution priced at $87.99 per box containing 6 lenses. These monthly disposables feature an aspheric multifocal lens design, providing you with a clear vision at near, intermediate, and distance. This design is combined with their 3-Zone Progressive Design to facilitate smooth transitions between focal points.

To enhance the overall experience, ULTRA also features MoistureSeal Technology. This technology creates a breathable, hydrophilic lens that retains up to 95% of moisture for 16 hours. This is particularly advantageous for heavy users of digital devices.

Pros

  • Offers exceptional comfort with long-lasting hydration.
  • Ideal for heavy users of digital devices.
  • Wide range of prescription strengths are available.

Cons

  • Due to their monthly nature, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for optimal use.
  • No UV protection.
Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia

Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia is another innovation from Bausch + Lomb, which also features the advanced 3-Zone Progressive™ Design. While lacking the MoistureSeal Technology, it excels with the revolutionary HyperGel™ material. This material operates like the eye's healthy tears, providing exceptional all-day comfort.

Setting itself apart, Biotrue ONEday enhances visual experiences by reducing halos and glare during the use of digital devices. It seamlessly aligns with your eyes' natural blink patterns and offers added protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Available at $45.99 per box with 30 lenses, Biotrue ONEday for Presbyopia is crafted as a daily disposable, eliminating the necessity for cleaning, which is ideal for those with hectic schedules.

Pros

  • Minimizes halos and glare, especially during digital device use.
  • Shields against damaging UVA and UVB rays for eye health.
  • Convenient and hygienic with a daily replacement schedule.

Cons

  • Not intended for overnight wear, it's also not recommended to take short naps while wearing them.

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1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal

The 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal excels in visual performance by incorporating advanced technologies. Thanks to Lacreon® Technology, a sustained moisture cushion ensures comfort throughout the day. While the Hybrid Back Curve Technology and Pupil Optimized Design maintains precise centration and adapts seamlessly to diverse visual needs, enhancing the overall wearing experience.

Designed for daily use, each pair of these lenses provides up to 14 hours of comfort. A box with 30 lenses is priced at $62.99, while a box containing 90 lenses is available for $122.99.

Moreover, these contacts feature Class 2 UV protection, blocking over 97% of UVB and 80% of UVA rays. This makes them an ideal choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Class 2 UV protection for enhanced eye safety outdoors.
  • Convenient daily disposables, no cleaning required.
  • Resistance to protein and lipid deposits for lens durability.

Cons

  • Limited wear time of up to 14 hours per pair.
Air Optix plus HydraGlyde Multifocal

Experience clear vision at all distances with Air Optix plus HydraGlyde Multifocal, priced at $102.99 per box containing 6 lenses. Alcon's Precision-Profile® design blends prescriptions seamlessly, providing clear vision up close and at a distance by working naturally with your eyes.

Two proprietary technologies, SmartShield® Technology, and HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix, contribute to the long-lasting moisture on the lens surface. SmartShield protects against deposits, maintains a stable tear film, and ensures the lens stays wet. Meanwhile, HydraGlyde Moisture Matrix ensures continuous hydration throughout the day.

Crafted from lotrafilcon B, a highly breathable lens material, these contacts promote ample oxygen flow, maintaining the health of your eyes.

Pros

  • Highly breathable lotrafilcon B material promotes eye health.
  • Allows for continuous wear for extended periods.
  • Comfortable lens-wearing experience.

Cons

  • Lacks UV protection.
  • Monthly lenses require regular cleaning and maintenance, adding to the overall lens care routine.
Proclear Multifocal

CooperVision's Proclear Multifocal contact lenses boast a well-established history of delivering excellent vision, promoting eye health, and ensuring comfort. By using Balanced Progressive™ Technology, Proclear lenses mix different types of optics and various zone sizes. This leads to making a "D" lens for the dominant eye and an "N" lens for the non-dominant eye. Together, these lenses enhance your ability to see clearly at all distances - near, intermediate, and far.

Proclear Multifocal is tailored for those with presbyopia and prone to dry eyes. Their unique PC Technology™ manufacturing method results in a more comfortable experience, as aging eyes often tend to become drier. Priced at $117.99 per box containing 6 lenses, they provide both exceptional vision and comfort.

Pros

  • Tailored for presbyopic patients prone to eye dryness.
  • Resists deposit buildup, reducing the risk of irritation.
  • Multiple correction zones tailored to personal prescriptions.

Cons

  • No UV protection feature.
  • Monthly lenses require regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • Higher cost compared to other monthly disposables.
PureVision 2 Multi-Focal

PureVision 2 Multi-Focal, a monthly disposable solution, is tailored to address presbyopia, offering FDA-approved extended wear for up to 6 nights and 7 days. Their versatile design allows continuous use, needing replacement only once a month when properly cleaned with a contact solution and stored each night. A box containing 6 lenses sells for $92.99.

The proprietary 3-Zone Progressive™ Design from Bausch + Lomb ensures crystal-clear vision at any distance. Made from balafilcon A, a silicone hydrogel material with 36% water content, these lenses are highly breathable, preventing easy dryness. The thin, rounded edges contribute to lasting comfort throughout wear.

Pros

  • Highly breathable balafilcon A material.
  • 36% water content for effective hydration.
  • Thin, rounded edges for all-day comfort.

Cons

  • Requires nightly cleaning and storage.
  • No UV protection feature.
Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal

Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal presents a daily disposable solution tailored to combat presbyopia, available at $113.99 for a box of 90 lenses. Featuring Precision Profile® Design, these lenses blend different prescriptions seamlessly for sharp, clear vision. These contacts can be worn for 14-16 hours and should be replaced at the end of the day.

These lenses set themselves apart with Blink-Activated Moisture technology, ensuring constant, refreshing comfort from insertion to removal. Crafted from the hydrogel material nelfilcon A, these lenses, with a high water content of 69%, create a comfortable and moist environment for your eyes by facilitating ample oxygen passage.

Pros

  • Wearable for up to 16 hours a day.
  • Easy daily disposal and replacement.
  • More oxygen transmission through the lens.

Cons

  • No UV protection feature.
Biofinity Multifocal

Biofinity Multifocal contact lenses is available at $87.99 per box containing 6 lenses. These monthly disposables deliver outstanding vision performance at every distance, making them suitable for both daily and extended wear.

Boasting Balanced Progressive Technology, these lenses offer tailored correction zones, ensuring clarity for near, far, and intermediate distances. The patented Aquaform Technology secures lasting comfort by locking in water and providing essential oxygen to maintain clear, white eyes.

Whether worn daily for 30 days or continuously for up to 6 nights and 7 days, Biofinity Multifocal contacts offer flexibility in wear. The comfilcon A silicone hydrogel material ensures high breathability, complemented by smooth, rounded edges that minimize interaction with your eyelids, enhancing overall comfort.

Pros

  • Balanced Progressive Technology for clear vision at all distances.
  • Aquaform Technology ensures all-day comfort and eye health.
  • Suitable for overnight use.
  • Smooth, rounded edges enhance overall comfort.

Cons

  • Requires proper cleaning and maintenance for optimal use.
  • No UV protection.
Clariti 1-Day Multifocal

The Clariti 1-Day Multifocal is a solution that combines the high breathability of silicone hydrogel with the affordability of 1-day hydrogel lenses. With up to twice the oxygen permeability of other daily multifocal lenses, Clariti ensures your eyes receive 100% of the necessary oxygen, promoting healthier eyes.

These lenses feature four dedicated, discrete zones of stable power, including unique dual Intermediate Vision Zones tailored to the lifestyle needs of many presbyopes. Smooth power transitions across the optical center ensure outstanding vision, while the lens's high water content (56%) and WetLoc™ technology provide all-day comfort.

Priced at $59.99 for a box of 30 lenses, Clariti Multifocal combines the convenience of disposables with silicone hydrogel's eye-friendly benefits. Plus, they provide UV protection by blocking both UVA and UVB light, ensuring eye safety.

Pros

  • High breathability with silicone hydrogel material.
  • Delivers twice the oxygen permeability compared to similar lenses.
  • Built-in UV blocker for added eye protection.

Cons

  • Not suitable for extended wear.
Air Optix Aqua Multifocal

Air Optix Aqua Multifocal lenses feature an exclusive Precision-Profile design, ensuring a seamless integration of prescription strengths across the lens. Priced at $97.99 per box, each containing 6 lenses, these monthly disposables provide an affordable and reliable solution for those seeking unrivaled vision correction.

Moreover, Alcon’s SmartShield Technology establishes an ultra-thin protective layer on the lenses, safeguarding against deposits that could compromise vision quality. Simultaneously, their TriComfort Technology facilitates optimal breathability and moisture retention. This ensures a consistently comfortable lens-wearing experience throughout the day, making Air Optix Aqua Multifocal an excellent choice for daily or extended wear.

Pros

  • Precision-Profile design for a natural blending of visual strengths.
  • SmartShield Technology and TriComfort Technology guarantee all-day comfort.
  • Flexible options for extended wear.

Cons

  • Needs cleaning and storage on a nightly basis.
  • Does not come with UV protection.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the best contact lenses for presbyopia involves considering comfort, visual performance, and lifestyle. Among the top contenders—ULTRA for Presbyopia, Biotrue ONEday, 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal, Air Optix plus HydraGlyde Multifocal, and Proclear Multifocal—each offers unique features.

ULTRA for Presbyopia stands out with its 3-Zone Progressive Design and MoistureSeal Technology, which are ideal for heavy digital device users. On the other hand, Biotrue ONEday minimizes glare with HyperGel material, providing all-day comfort and UVA/UVB protection.

1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal prioritizes visual performance with Lacreon and Hybrid Back Curve technologies, complemented by Class 2 UV protection for outdoor enthusiasts. Meanwhile, Air Optix plus HydraGlyde Multifocal ensures clear vision at all distances with Precision-Profile design and SmartShield Technology.

Finally, Proclear Multifocal, designed for dry eyes, incorporates Balanced Progressive and PC Technologies, offering excellent vision and comfort while resisting deposits. Consult your eye care professional to find the best option aligning with your lifestyle for optimal vision and comfort.

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FAQs on Contacts For Presbyopia

Can presbyopia be permanently treated?

Current medical advancements have yet to provide permanent solutions for presbyopia. Procedures like LASIK offer the option to correct one eye for distance and the other for near vision. However, it's essential to collaborate with your eye care professional to ensure a smooth adaptation to monovision. Testing monovision with contact lenses before committing to permanent surgery is often recommended for a seamless transition.

What are the alternative solutions for treating presbyopia?

Innovative surgical techniques for presbyopia are being explored. One option involves presbyopia implants, artificial inserts positioned just beneath the eye's surface to enhance focusing ability. One such implant, the Kamra Corneal Inlay by AcuFocus, gained FDA approval in April 2015. It enhances vision for near and intermediate objects by selectively blocking certain light rays, akin to pinhole or small-aperture photography.

Are there age restrictions for using multifocal contacts for presbyopia?

There is no strict age restriction, but it's essential to have a comprehensive eye exam to determine if multifocal lenses are suitable. Eye health, tear production, and other factors are considered in the fitting process.

Can I use contacts for presbyopia if I have astigmatism?

Yes, there are multifocal contact lenses designed for individuals with astigmatism called toric multifocal. Your eye care professional can determine the right type of lens based on your prescription and needs.

Are there specific exercises or habits that can complement contacts for presbyopia and enhance overall eye health?

Exploring holistic approaches, beyond corrective lenses, for maintaining eye health and potentially slowing the progression of presbyopia can be valuable. Simple eye exercises can be an effective strategy to retrain and strengthen vision. These exercises aim to rewire the eyes, contributing to increased strength over time.