Author Topic: Contact Lenses - monovision ?  (Read 3369 times)

Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« on: March 17, 2013, 09:54:49 pm »
I've been wearing contacts (-4.75, -5.25)  for years, and have no problems at all for distance work.   However in the last year or so I've been finding it increasingly difficult to focus on items at close range.   Using a VDU or reading a book (in good light) are not yet difficult, but meals, camera controls, menus in dark restaurants & cutting toenails have all caused me problems recently.

At age 48 this is classic Presbyopia  :(

My optician says I have 2 choices, occasional reading glasses on top of the contacts, or change the prescription on one of my lenses to give me "monovision" with 1 eye optimised for distance and the other for close up work.

Has anyone here tried this and did you experience any problems ?
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 10:13:56 pm »
I had exactly the same problem so have been using monovision prescription contact lenses for several years.  They work really well - I have a full range of vision so no need for reading glasses (one of the few people my age I know who don't need them!).

No issues really. Took a short while to get used to but feels totally natural now.  The only problem is when one of them gets blurred by grit, etc.

BTW I have gas permeable lenses which may be better suited to monovision than soft ones - I don't know.


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Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2013, 10:15:48 pm »
I had a very short (two weeks) trial with monovision contact lenses.
I was very pleased with them & had no vision problems at all with reading,driving etc etc.

Unfortunately I had difficulty removing the contact lens from my right eye.Approx 50% ripped when being removed.Dry-eye was the opticians opinion. :(

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2013, 10:41:49 pm »
I wore mono vision prescribed lenses for about 5 years up to my last examination, when we went binocular again, with reading glasses. Computers are the prob. - need different stuff than for reading books...


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Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 08:01:55 am »
I tried it for a few months, but found it felt like too much of a compromise.  Off-the-shelf +1.5 reading glasses inna tube (so you can carry em around in your pocket) and cheap (so you can lose em) work for me.  Granted, they are a bit of a faff though. 

For the computer, which I use all day @ work, I use varifocals so I can both see the monitor and read/write on paper.  Seems a bit daft, wearing contact lenses then specs on top for most of the day, but hey.  I'm 51 btw - happened to me about the same age as you, but doesn't seem to be getting any worse...

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 07:48:27 am »
I meant to add that you will probably have to factor in a pair of glasses anyway, to balance up the eyes for driving.

A further option that would work for me is to wear lenses at 'reading prescription' and then bung a pair of glasses on for distance. Much the same cost, but no need for reading glasses. Most of life is spent in familiar surroundings so distance vision not necessary, and thou can have a distance prescription lenses for days out and about.
I've trialled this too, but without adding in the distance glasses, and it seems a fair option if the working day involves reading, telephone, computer.

PS. I'm 54, seeing as we seem to be 'fessing up. So went mono vision at about 48, too.

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 08:07:31 am »
Interestingly this was not an option I was offered.  OK, I use Specsavers, but as they're franchised the quality of service is largely dependent on the francisee, and our local one is (usually) very good.  (perhaps it's to do with my astigmatism, I'll ask next time I'm in). I did try multifocal contacts but just couldn't get on with them. Maybe I'll try again next time round if something new is on the market (again, choices limited due to astigmatism but improving - can even get dailies that mostly correct my long vision for cycling), but I've been using (varifocal)glasses again after 20 years of soft lenses. And for riding (despite having the dailies) I just manage without correction mainly.  Not sure I could be arsed with two pairs of glasses or lenses plus glasses. I did try the binocular lens + reading glasses, but all the cheap galsses were SO crap I hated using them. Maybe time for a re-assessment!
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)


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Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2013, 08:20:29 am »
I've had bi-focal* contact lenses for (I can't really remember) but probably 12 or 13 years - having been a normal contact lens wearer for the previous 20+ years that "graduated" to over-the-contacts reading glasses.

The bifocals are brilliant ... as my eyesight has apparently "plateaued" in the words of the optician he's tweaked my prescription for the bi-focals so that one eye's prescription errs towards better distance vision and the other one to near/reading.  It works - the theory being that the brain compensates.


* in reality they are varifocal - there's no right or wrong way up with them - you just bung 'em in.

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2015, 12:20:42 am »
I did monovision for 5-7 years, once presbyopia finally showed up at about age 50.

But, after changing optometrists, I've been in distance-preferred only, with readers.  Soft lenses, some astigmatism.

Because? Well, after the monovision, my eyes had gotten to the point were they weren't working together well.  May have been happening for a while, but it took going to someone who checked how my eyes were working together, versus how each eye did on its own.  She found that my depth perception had dropped off, and that my eyes weren't looking at the same level (left eye is looking a bit above the right one, if that makes sense).

I liked monovision while I was doing it; however, wish I'd stopped just a bit earlier.

Readers are a hassle.  Inexpensive wrap-around safety glasses, with a "reader" section, in clear or tint work well for cycling, however.

Seeing a doctor who will check to find out which eye is dominant, how they work together, etc. is a good idea.  Many don't check for this.

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2015, 10:45:02 am »
I tried monovision -and AIUI bi- and multi-focal contact work on the same principle, whereby the dominant eye is used for distance and the non-dominant eye for reading. In the case of mono-vision the lenses are signle vision ones, one of each, in bi / multi the dominat eye's lens has the distance part in the centre and reading peripheral, and vice versa.

However in my case it didn't work at all. My dominant eye is so dominant that even after several weeks of wear it still tried to do everything including reading - result ok distance vision and crap reading / close work vision.  I'm in the minority however, and monovision should work for the majority of people straight off the bat.

I also tried single vision lenses for distance plus reading glasses (I'd initially given up on lenses when the presbyopia hit a few years ago) but found I couldn't be arsed keeping several pairs of reading glasses around the place, plus computer glasses at work as well. So I've reverted to varifocal glasses for day to day work use, and I buy daily disposables for riding my bike as the vision is good enough for that (plus driving too, and photography) - my distance prescription hasn't changed in 30+ years as those recent tests showed. I also use the dailies on holiday with a cheap pair of +1.25 glasses for reading and close work.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2015, 10:49:46 am »
Replying to my own thread I've now been wearing the mono vision lenses for over a year and find them adequate for most things.   Distance vision is fine, as is vision for reading & VDU work.

Where they fall down is the middle distance,  I find it difficult to get a clear detailed picture of stuff 6-8 ft away.   This is a nuisance in galleries & museums & means I have to get up close to the exhibits.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark


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Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2015, 10:57:54 am »
Get your optician to make some middle distance specs. David had some made for piano use. (He couldn't focus on the music with his distance specs and reads without spectacles.) They were not very expensive.
Few people get through middle age without some spectacles.

Re: Contact Lenses - monovision ?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2015, 08:32:59 pm »
I am currently experimenting with contacts again after 40 years or so - i.e. daily disposables. My prescription is off the Richter scale and my right eye is in effect ignored by my brane. Even with contacts I still need +2 for close work. But the sensation of freedom they give on the bike is wonderful as is the ability to wear wrap arounds. Getting them in and out is a bit of a faff.
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