I’ve been wearing contact lenses since my eighteenth birthday. Back then, shallow as I was, I believed the adage “men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses” and I was tickled pink at the prospect of being specs-free. (I can’t remember whether it really had an impact on my dating life, though.) The nightly cleaning and weekly fizzy-tablet soak didn’t bother me. I performed those tasks happily, and continued to do so for almost forty years.
Hormonal shifts and environmental factors can heighten the dry eye problem as we age.
As I grew older, my happy relationship with contact lenses began to hit some bumps. A tactless and very unprofessional gynecologist (whom I never returned to, by the way) once said to me, “You get old, you dry up.” And although I hate to admit it, she was right. Menopausal and post-menopausal women suffer from dryness…let’s just say, everywhere. And my eyes were part of that package. They were often red and itchy. Any contact lenses I wore were comfortable in the morning when they were just inserted, but invariably as the day wore on, my eyes became terribly dry and after a few hours, I had to just about pry those suckers off with a crowbar. No amount of rewetting solution or synthetic tears helped.
As my eyesight changed, I began to find that the lenses were also of no help to me while doing up-close tasks. Reading menus in dimly lit restaurants was futile unless I squinted and held them a mile away from my nose, and when I was working on my computer I either had to zoom in, making the type so big that there were only about 10 words on the page, or I had to succumb to wearing reading glasses which seemed to defeat the entire purpose of wearing contact lenses anyway. Often those reading glasses were lost, or I thought they were lost when they were either right in front of me, or better yet, on top of my head. Switching to contact lenses, then reading glasses, then regular eyeglasses, then back to reading glasses made me dizzy, literally and figuratively. Ultimately, I reverted back to wearing glasses on a more permanent basis.
When I was approached by the people at ACUVUE® and asked to try their 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses that were made specifically for people who need help reading close-up (a condition called “presbyopia”), I said, “sure.” What did I have to lose? I honestly didn’t have much faith in them being very effective, but there was no harm in trying. I headed uptown to see Dr. Selenow at Manhattan Vision Associates, and when he determined I was an appropriate candidate for the lenses, I popped in a pair, and waited for the disappointing results.
Presbyopia: The gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects that becomes apparent in your 40s.
(Spoiler alert: the disappointment never came.)The lenses were very comfortable initially and everything at a distance was clear and sharp. (No surprise there.) The big WOW moment came when I was given a magazine to read…and I could read it…without reading glasses…without squinting! Dr. Selenow’s associate, Anne, explained that the lenses being “multifocal” meant that I could see far AND near AND in between! On the drive home, in the dark, I was able to read street signs, even license plates with no problem. During the seven-day trial period that followed, I wore the lenses (remember, these are daily disposable, so each day I had a new, fresh pair to wear, and no cleaning solution was needed) an average of seven hours a day—for both work and play. A little squirt of rewetting drops, when necessary, added another hour or two of comfortable wear.
You will experience clear vision with 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses…near, intermediate, and far.
I am really sold on these lenses. I won’t bore you with all the technical mumbo jumbo about how they’re made—(you can read all about them at acuvue.com), but just know that it took years of R&D and many hours of studying the aging eye to get to this point. There’s a lot of work packed into those little round spheres, in addition to a wetting agent that’s actually in the lens, so you can’t blink it away. Another great feature of the 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses…they have UV protection*† which is not available in all daily disposable lenses. That’s like wearing sunblock on your eyes, but you still need sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat for complete sun protection.
I haven’t deserted my regular eyeglasses totally…I no longer believe that antiquated adage about girls with glasses. Still, the readers have all but disappeared. And it is wonderful to be able to have contact lenses that I can take on vacation, wear to the gym, and not have to worry about comfort and eyesight! After all, how could you not love something that makes you feel eighteen again?