Contact Lenses and Reading glasses
Many people are under the impression that because they wear contact lenses they will not need reading glasses. While their is some truth to this, the majority of contact lens wearers will at some point require the visual assistance of a pair of reading glasses.
Contact lenses are designed to correct someones underlying vision correction. If someone is nearsighted, they can not see clearly in the distance without the use of contacts or glasses. In this case, contacts basically bend light and adjust the focal point within an eye so the nearsighted person can now see clearly in the distance. The opposite is true for the farsighted eye.
Your average pair of reading glasses are designed to enlarge an image that is within arms distance when a persons vision is optimized in the distance. In other words, if a nearsighted eye is corrected for distance vision with contact lenses, they will require reading glasses to see up close once presbyopia is present (after the age of 40).
There are some ways around this if you are seeing a skilled contact lens professional. Contact lenses can be manipulated to correct both distance and near to an extent. This can be done either with a technique referred to as monovision or with multifocal contact lenses.
Monovision is when one eye is corrected for distance and the other for near vision. When both eyes are functioning together, a person may get all around vision. While this method does not work for everyone, you may be surprised to hear how successful it can be.
Mulitofocal contact lenses have varying optics so one lens will correct for some distance vision and some near vision. They also work extremely well on many eyes, but not all. There a number of varieties of multifocal contact lenses available and they all function a bit different. Just because one style does not work is no reason to give up. As stated earlier, it is essential that you are seeing qualified contact lens specialist if you want to succeed with multifocals
Of course lens fitters can mix up the two methods and customize what is referred to as a modified monovision in hopes of achieving the best results.
In the end, contact lenses and near vision come down to an individuals expectations. Even with the best fit, low power reading glasses may still be necessary at certain times. Low light, fine print, and hobbies may still require you to pull out those reading glasses every now and again.