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Options For Reading Glasses With Contact Lenses

This is a question frequently asked by our patients. When your vision is corrected with contact lenses, what do you do for reading glasses?

Peruse these choices below to learn about all the options:

1.) Distance Contact Lenses + Reading Glasses

Both eyes corrected for distance with the lenses. For reading, you may wear progressive glasses (for a full range of vision) or reading glasses (for one range of vision) over the lenses when needed.

This will give you the clearest vision for both distance and near. For patients with one "good" eye this is the recommended option.

2.) Monovision

One eye corrected for distance vision and the other eye corrected for reading or computer with contact lenses. The brain uses each eye independently and chooses which one to use for which task.

Most people can adapt to this within two weeks, some people cannot.

The eyes need to be able to achieve almost identical vision with contact lenses to use this modality. If one eye is much better than the other with contact lenses you will always prefer to use that eye.

3.) Multifocal Contact Lenses:

This is a different design of contact lens which combines both distance vision and near vision into the same lens with a concentric ring circle design. This requires a different and more complicated fitting process but can give very good vision.

Multifocal lenses do require some compromise since the lenses are accomplishing so many tasks at once. Nighttime vision may have more halos around lights due to the design of the lens. Most people can adapt to this over time but some cannot. The splitting of the light into two images (the distance image and the near image) will degrade the sharpness of both images slightly.

Fitting for multifocal lenses requires additional cost, additional time in the office, and is not recommended for patients with extreme irregularities because the distortions of the lens will compound with the distortions of the eyes.

If you are interested in which reading glasses to choose, see the chart below which can offer insight into which lens power will work best for you.

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