Contact lenses can be a pain for many older people. Some deal with issues such as limited mobility in their fingers, so putting contacts in is tricky. Similarly, seniors are more prone to conditions such as dry eye syndrome. These health issues are a big reason they don’t wear contact lenses. The other reason is the effectiveness and easy availability of alternatives such as progressive glasses.
Common Eye Issues that Older People Have
Dry eye syndrome especially affects older women. Eyelid muscles sag, causing the eye to close less tightly. This allows more air on the surface on the eye, drying it out. The smaller amount of moisture also makes dirt and dust particles more irritating. Contact lenses, as per their nature, can cause drier eyes. A double dose of dryness (normal aging plus contacts) is not fun at all. Other eye issues common in older people include:
- Heightened sensitivity to bright lights and glare
- Decreased visual acuity
- Less contrast sensitivity
When eyes age, they often experience various types of damage that accumulate over time. For example, normal aging in the retina can make it harder for an older person to focus on both nearby and far-off objects. Rather than continue wearing contacts, a senior may opt for something such as prescription reading glasses“or progressive lenses.
The Process of Putting in Contact Lenses and Caring for Them
Seniors who have been wearing contact lenses for years may still have an easy time putting them in. However, actually putting them in is just part of the picture. It doesn’t take much for any of the following to happen by accident:
- Dropping contact lenses
- Falling asleep and leaving contacts in (more dry eye)
- Forgetting where the contacts are kept
Contacts can become more trouble than they’re worth. Seniors with back pain or restricted mobility may not be able to get on their knees to search for dropped lenses. Moreover, seniors who are taking medications may feel dizzy or disoriented and not want to put their contacts in.
Then, of course, there are seniors who can’t move their hands or fingers as well as they used to. They’d rather not struggle to put contacts in when they can easily pop on a pair of glasses.
Progressive Glasses and Other Options
Alternatives such as progressive glasses let seniors put away their contacts. Interestingly, the need for progressives (also called multifocal lenses) may become apparent about age 40. These lenses contain three prescriptions in one pair of glasses to let people see well at varying distances. Seniors can read a book, watch TV and drive without having to change glasses. Check out our selection here.