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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2286
Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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I am wearing contact lenses. i need to change prescription.

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I am wearing contact lenses. i need to change prescription. i am 53 yrs old and am a computer programmer. the optometrist i have gone to for the last 15 years is trying to switch me from regular to bifocal lenses. i have tried 3 different ones each for a trial period of between 3 and 10 days. none are better than the single focus lense even though they are no longer doing a good job in poor lighting. i like contact lenses. I plan to go to another doctor since i seem to be a 'problem' patient.
Q: how do i find a good optometrist or opthalmologist who would be able to help me better? what questions do i ask the dr before signing up for a visit.
1. Multifocal contact lenses are good for some patients. I've had the most success in patients who do not need to do a lot of up close task during the day. These are good for people on the go. People who do alot of reading and computer work tend to need clearer vision up close and do not seem to like the multifocal contact lenses as much. If you have tried 3 different brands, that means the multifocal contact lenses will not likely meet your needs, regardless of the brand.

2. If you are on the computer most of the day, you can get contacts where the focus is set for the computer. That would mean your distance vision will be blurry. You may need distance/driving glasses on top of your contact lenses.

3. Alternatively, you can wear single vision contact lenses for distance and wear regular drug-store reading glasses on top of that (+1.50).

4. You can try monovision which is one eye set for distance and the other eye set for near. You rely on your brain to switch between the eyes. Some people adapt to this well, while others do not like it at all. If you are on the computer most of the day, this may not be a good option.

Regarding finding a good eye doctor, personal referral is the best from person who has had experience with that doctor. It seems you know what you like and don't like, so I think you need to find a doctor who will listen to your needs and give you all the options. It appears your current doctor is not considering the other options and only suggesting multifocal contact lenses.

The 4 options above are the most common for patients in your situation. Any doctor should be able to help you, just make sure they are willing to spend time to explain those options to you.

Remember to press the green ACCEPT button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you. Feel free to ask any additional questions.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Dr. James. Thank you for your insightful reply.

I have one more question: I have tried 3 different multifocal lenses, all from the same brand: Acuvue. My current single focus lenses are also by Acuvue. As far as you know. Are there any multifocal lenses designed for people who do alot of reading and computer work who tend to need clearer vision up close?





Hello Trees,

All of the multifocal lenses are pretty similar to each other. There is not one that I would say is better at reading than the others. I often try one brand of multifocal first. If that does not work, then I would switch to a different brand to see if the different arrangement of the multifocal rings would make a difference.

If you are motivated, rigid gas permeable lenses can be made with a bifocal. The vision achieve with these mimic the vision of a true bifocal where you have separate sections for the distance and for the reading. It does take some time (3-4) weeks to adapt to the hard lenses, however. These are not done by all optometrists, so ask them if they routinely fit bifocal RGPs.

Best wishes to you. Please remember to accept if my answer has been helpful.
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