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Solutions for near sighted people who develop Presbyopia – Those who need bi-focal lenses or progressive lenses

Updated on February 10, 2009

Near sighted people can see fine at short distances, and generally have no trouble reading a book, or working on a computer. They do need corrective lenses in order to see farther distances during activities such as driving, or playing sports.

Presbyopia is a condition that develops with age (usually beginning after the age of 40) where the eyes ability to focus on objects that are a short distance from the eye begins to deteriorate.

When a near sighted person develops Presbyopia then corrective lenses need to be prescribed to correct both the near sightedness and the Presbyopia. This situation is more complex than simply receiving corrective lenses for near sightedness, as the person who has just developed Presbyopia has been used to. It is not uncommon for a near sighted person with Presbyopia to have difficulty adjusting to this new situation, and as a result be unhappy with their new prescription for glasses, or contacts.

There are 3 possible solutions to correct the vision of someone who is near sighted and also has Presbyopia. Progressive lenses, Monovision, or contact lenses to correct the nearsightedness and reading glasses. The solution that is right for you will be a personal decision. You should discuss all options with your eye doctor, and the person who dispenses and fits your glasses or contacts. Be sure you have the option to work through your vision problem, if one of the 3 choices does not work out as you had expected, you should be able to work with the person dispensing your lenses to find the best solution of the 3.

Progressive Lenses

Progressive lenses are available as either contacts or glasses. The one pair of lenses will correct both near sightedness and Presbyopia. When you look through the bottom part of the lens you are getting corrected vision for Presbyopia, and when you look through the middle and upper part of the lens you are getting correction for near sightedness. It does take some getting used to, to successfully wear this type of lenses and some people don’t like the transition from one type of correction to the other as they move their eyes up and down. Modern day progressive lenses do not have the line in the middle that old style bi-focal lenses once had.


Monovision is a technique where the vision in one eye is has the near sightedness corrected with a contact lens, and the other eye has the Presbyopia corrected, also with a contact lens. The wearer of this solution will often close one eye or the other when having trouble seeing. This method of vision correction takes some getting used to, and has the side effect of reducing the effectiveness of your depth perception.

Contact Lenses and Reading Glasses

This solution combines contact lenses and reading glasses. The contacts are used to correct the near sightedness, and allow you to drive a car or play sports, etc. And you also get a pair of reading glasses whose prescription takes into account that you will be wearing them over top of your contacts. This solution works quite well as most people who use it only put on their glasses when reading or using the computer.


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      Mrs H 2 years ago

      Could you have lens replacement surgery to get rid of the Presbyopia and then wear conact lenses as normal to fix the myopia?

      I ask because I'm damned if I want to wear contact lenses AND glasses!