By Steve Roberts

Contact lenses for monovision  may enable glasses or surgery to be avoided in treating presbyopia, an age-related condition which means people from their 40's onwards often require reading glasses for near vision. Most shortsighted people find it very frustrating that the glasses or contact lenses they wear to ensure they can see distant objects clearly often need to be supplemented by reading glasses as they get older due to presbyopia. From the 40's onwards, the crystalline lens which sits behind the cornea and acts like a zoom, stiffens from a squashy gel-like substance to a fixed structure making it harder for muscles to squeeze it into shape to get a clear image. By the age of 50, 90 per cent of lens flexibility is lost.

Now a new surgical procedure has been announced specifically to treat presbyopia although it is not cheap at £4,600 for both eyes. The procedure developed by scientists in California involves a microscopic ring being surgically implanted in the cornea which then allows only focused light to reach the retina and subsequently improves vision for all distances. More than 6,000 treatments have been carried out since last year in Europe and certain parts of Japan. However, surgery is not a preferred option for many people which is where overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for monovision  may provide an attractive alternative. The lenses are primarily used to correct shortsightedness but in monovision, only one lens is worn in the dominant eye to correct for distance vision whilst the other eye is uncorrected for near vision tasks like reading.

Nevertheless, it seems likely that there will still be some demand for the new surgical procedure which cost some $70m to develop. Scientists have been monitoring a number of patients who six years ago were amongst the first to undergo the operation and results from the implants have shown no signs of any problems. In the UK, Londoner Theresa Ferguson, 53, became the first Briton to undergo the procedure in August and was delighted with the outcome. 'I had brilliant eyesight until I was 45 then I began struggling since I need to read small print for work." However, for those who find the prospect of eye surgery to be unattractive, the new contact lenses for monovision  could provide a perfect alternative.

Check if you are suitable for ortho-k corrective contact lenses for monovision .

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