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30 Aug 2019

Struggling to focus on things up close? You might have presbyopia

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August 30, 2019 Category: Health Posted by:


Do you use the flashlight on your phone to read the menu at dinner? Are drugstore reading glasses scattered throughout the house? Or perhaps you do the “so-common-it-should-be-patented” arm stretch to read text messages and emails on your phone? If any of these ring a bell, you may be among the millions of Americans living with presbyopia.[1]

Yes, the name almost sounds made up, and it certainly may be hard to pronounce. But, presbyopia is the clinical term for an eye condition that makes it challenging to focus on things up close. It’s a natural, common part of aging in people age 40 and over and is estimated to affect nearly 123 million Americans by 2020.[1],[2]

Unfortunately, rather than visiting an eye care professional for an easy solution, some people simply compensate for blurry near vision by continuing to stretch their arms out or using drugstore reading glasses, which can be more hassle than help when they get lost or break in the course of a typical day.[3] Many people with presbyopia are unaware they have other options, including multifocal contact lenses.[3]

“People often visit me unhappy with their dependence on reading glasses after age 40,” said Dr. Susan Resnick*, New York-based optometrist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry. “They’re relieved to learn of other available options to correct their presbyopia. Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1® Multifocal contact lenses have a unique design that allows you to clearly see near, far and in between, making lots of people interested to try them once they learn more.”[4]

Why are multifocal contact lenses an important option for correcting presbyopia? Here are three big reasons, according to a recent survey of people with presbyopia ages 40 and older:

1. You don’t have to struggle to accommodate and cope with your presbyopia.

Nearly half of the people surveyed (46 %) said they just cope with presbyopia and use compensatory methods to help them see what they need to see.[3] Some of the most common ways people with presbyopia compensate include extending the arm away from the face to read small text, needing more light to see clearly close up and increasing the font size on a smartphone to read emails and texts.

2. Reading glasses are frustrating and cumbersome to use as a long-term solution because they break or get lost quite often.

Ever forget where you left your readers only to find them on your head? People ages 40 and older who were surveyed owned at least one pair of reading glasses and nearly 7 in 10 said taking their readers on and off throughout the day is a real inconvenience.[3] They are also likely to misplace or lose them and over half (55%) said wearing readers would make them feel old.[3]

3. Multifocal contact lenses offer flexibility for active lifestyles.

About two-thirds (67%) of those surveyed want to stop adjusting their lives around their vision as it relates to their reading glasses.[3] Thankfully, multifocal contact lenses let you move with ease and confidence, so you can enjoy an active lifestyle. That’s in comparison to reading glasses that get in the way of a rigorous tennis match or tussle with kids or grandkids.

If you’ve been ignoring presbyopia symptoms and challenges, visit to learn more about your options and to find a doctor.

*Dr. Susan Resnick is a paid consultant for Alcon.


[1] 2015 Comprehensive Report on the Global IOL Market. Market Scope.

[2] Presbyopia. Accessed April 2019.


[3] Survey of 501 Presbyopes. Alcon data on file, 2018.

[4] Lemp J, Kern J. Alcon Multifocal Contact Lenses for Presbyopia Correction. Presented at the Canadian Association of Optometrists Congress, June 28-30, 2017. Ottawa, ON.

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