Contact lenses can seem intimidating to the elderly. You may believe that contacts are for the younger generations and that it is time to move on to glasses.
But with all the recent advancements made in the last few years, there is no reason to shy away from contact lenses even if you are over 60.
Is There An Age Limit For Wearing Contact Lenses?
As you grow older, you may have more difficulties with your eyes. From presbyopia that worsens with age to dry eye syndrome that may be aggravated by the use of normal contact lenses, time does cause natural wear and tear to your retina, cornea, and lens.
Common Concerns For Older People
● As your eyes start producing less-and-less lubrication with old age, the dry eye symptom may worsen.
● Your eyelids lose their elasticity, your eyes don’t close completely when you blink, and this constant exposure to air makes it very dry. These symptoms will worsen if you use the wrong kind of lenses.
● The dryness also increases your chances for irritation and infection, as dust particles that enter your eyes are not flushed out and cause tiny scratches.
● When you grow older, your eyes start losing the ability to focus on nearby and far-off objects simultaneously, making multifocal lenses a must.
● You may have difficulties inserting contact lenses due to declining motor coordination or disorientation due to medications.
● Forgetfulness that comes with old age may also be a deciding factor, as sleeping without removing the lenses will lead to dangerous infections.
How You Can Still Use Contact Lenses
Worry not, because there are solutions available to most of these issues now. There is no need to sacrifice your appearance or your convenience because you’re getting older. Contact lenses are now being made to treat specific issues like dry eyes and presbyopia.
Types of contact lenses:
● Soft contact lenses that are made with silicone hydrogel polymers allow up to 5 times more oxygen flow than normal ones, and this helps retain the moisture in your eyes. Daily disposable soft lenses are even more helpful if you’re worried about cleaning the lenses or getting infected.
● Hard lenses or gas permeable lenses (GP) made of rigid silicon compounds provide sharp vision, are more durable, and allow more oxygen to flow through them. But these may be harder to get used to since they are rigid and might not stay in place like soft lenses do.
● Hybrid contact lenses combine the comfort of soft lenses and the stronger vision of hard lenses. But they are also much more expensive and are not as popular.
● Multifocal contact lenses are used to correct both nearsightedness and farsightedness and are very useful to the elderly.
● Monovision lenses are also an option considered for the elderly as it reserves one eye for close-up vision and the other for long-distance vision, and your brain adjusts to it quickly. This helps correct presbyopia.
Tips To Safely Use Contact Lenses
● Always wash and sanitize your hands before inserting and removing the lenses. Unhygienic treatment of the lenses will promote the growth of germs and lead to infections.
● Remove your contact lenses before you go to sleep, as these may also lead to infections.
● Do not use contact lenses while swimming or in the shower, as germs in the water may stick to them.
● Use daily disposable contact lenses if you are prone to eye irritation or infections.
● Use prescription eye drops and dietary supplements containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to improve and retain the moisture content in your eyes.
● Do not hesitate to get help from professionals to grow more comfortable with inserting your lenses.
But If Contact Lenses Are Not What You Prefer
Reduced mobility and forgetfulness that come with old age may mean that contact lenses are not the ideal solution for you. If so, progressive or multifocal glasses may be the best option to correct the focusing issues caused by presbyopia. Consult a professional and find out which of
these options best suits your specific needs. With so many options out there, you’re sure to find one that is perfect for you.