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    5 reasons to upgrade patients from monovision to multifocals


    Think beyond baby boomers; Gen Xers actually outnumber boomers,10 and their demands and expectations are completely different. As a Gen Xer and an emerging presbyope, I can tell you I expect technology to solve all my problems. There had better be an app for this!

    More sobering is that in 2015 millennials surpassed all others as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.11 As ODs, we need to adapt how we react to presbyopia and continuously evolve to meet the greater demands from patients. If we minimize patient complaints and fail to integrate new technology, we could find ourselves well behind the times as the first millennial presbyopes walk into our offices in the next few years.

    2. Binocularity

    While binocularity can be unexciting, it matters from a safety standpoint.

    For example, the Federal Aviation Administration does not allow airline pilots to wear monovision contact lenses for flying.12 The FAA’s position is scientifically sound: distance stereopsis decreased significantly with increasing contact lens powers (P < 0.01 with +2.50 D lens power).13

    Related: 3 correction options for presbyopes

    Consider that after your monovision patient shells out extra to see that cool new superhero movie in 3D on date night, he will be very disappointed. Multifocal treatment of presbyopia not only gives back binocularity, it can restore range of vision from distance to intermediate to near as well.

    3. Improved night vision

    Yes, increased night visual acuity. We talk about multifocal scotopic visual acuity negatively so often we forget that while multifocals may not be the same as spherical distance vision contact lenses, vision can be much better than with monovision.

    One of the biggest feedback points you will hear as you convert more monovision wearers to multifocal lenses is improved night visual acuity. This is especially true, in my experience, for hyperopes with higher add powers.

    Contrast sensitivity may explain what is happening for these patients. Monovision photopic and mesopic distance contrast sensitivity decreased significantly with progressive increase in power.13

    Kristopher A. May, OD, FAAO
    Dr. May serves as adjunct and guest faculty at Southern College of Optometry. Previously, he was center director for West Tennessee Eye ...


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    Optometry Times A/V