Does my age affect my lens prescription?

Does my age affect my lens prescription?

By Dr. Caitlin J. Morrison, OD, FAAO, FSLS | Doctor of Optometry |

Glasses are not a one-size-fits-all. There are many types of lenses that can help you see your best during different aspects of your life.

I get a lot of questions about eye strain and computer work from people of all ages and like to be able to recommend unique lens types to each individual patient.

Those over 40 years of age develop presbyopia, a worsening of the focusing system’s ability to see up-close, and start to need reading glasses. We are also seeing difficulty focusing in those under 40 as well because of how much work we do at the computer and on our phones.

Here are some answers to some common questions below about what lens to pick if you’re under or over 40 years of age.


Q: What if I’m under 40 years old, but I feel like I am focusing too hard when reading or at the computer?

The first thing to do would be to make sure you are wearing the correct prescription. If you are nearsighted and are over-corrected, your focusing system is working all day. Add to that the extra focusing you do for anything up-close and that can cause a lot of eye strain and possible headaches.

Once you do this, the eye doctor can perform tests to see how efficient your focusing system is. You may have a hard time focusing, or a hard time relaxing after focusing (making everything far away blurry for a few minutes after staring at the computer for a long time).

There is also an awesome new lens for your glasses for avoiding eye fatigue for those who aren’t in need of reading glasses yet.

Those closer to 40 years old, who aren’t ready to commit to a full reading prescription, may benefit from this lens as well.

The lens is called the “Relax” lens. When looking straight ahead you will see everything clearly with your updated distance prescription. When looking down, a small amount of PLUS (+0.65 D) power relaxes your focusing system. The lens looks exactly like a normal distance lens and may help with eye fatigue while doing computer work and reading.


Q: I am over 40 and I have a large array of interests. What lens design in my glasses may be right for me?

The best thing to do would be to make an appointment to discuss all of your interests, visual needs at work, and hobbies. The design of your lens can be tailored to a variety of needs.

The kind of lens that incorporates both distance and reading prescriptions without seeing the bifocal line is called a progressive lens.


There Are Unique Types of Progressives For Those Who:

  1. Meet with clients and look at their phones throughout the day: Digital Progressive
  2. Spend most of the day on their computers and reading small print: Office Progressive
  3. Those who want to see extremely clear for all aspects of their golf game: Golf Specific Progressive
  4. For those who are in meetings, looking at their computers, and reading equally throughout the day: Progressive lenses with a wider intermediate and reading area.

Make an appointment to make sure your eyes are healthy, that you have an updated glasses and contact lens prescription, and talk about lens recommendations for your lifestyle.

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