Bifocal Contacts for Astigmatism

Last updated on May 17th, 2017 at 07:14 am

In the past, if you wore toric soft contacts for astigmatism, you needed to decide at some point after age 40, when you also started to have trouble checking out due to presbyopia: Either start wearing reading glasses over your contacts or switch to bifocal rigid gas permeable contact lenses.

What Are Bifocal Contact Lenses for Astigmatism?

For lots of people, neither of these were preferable options.

To start with, having to use and bring around checking out glasses defeats the purpose of using contact lenses, which is to be free from glasses. And though checking out glasses can restore your near vision after age-related presbyopia becomes apparent, readers blur your range vision — so you need to keep putting them on (for reading) and taking them off (to see across the room). It’s irritating.

For some people with astigmatism, changing to bifocal gas permeable (GP) contacts after age 40 can restore clear vision at all ranges. However getting used to wearing stiff GP lenses after easily using soft lenses can be a challenge, and some individuals merely cannot adapt to GP lenses.

Also, to remain comfy, GP lenses must be used every day. This gets rid of the convenience of a versatile using schedule that soft contacts use for individuals who don’t wish to wear contact lenses throughout the day, every day.

And while it’s true that soft bifocal contact lenses have actually been readily available for many years, these lenses didn’t correct astigmatism. Today that has altered.

New soft bifocal contacts that also remedy astigmatism — called toric multifocal lenses — offer individuals with both astigmatism and presbyopia the clear vision at all ranges they desire, with the using convenience they’ve come to anticipate with single vision (non-presbyopic) toric soft lenses.

Bifocal Contacts for Astigmatism

Functions Of Soft Bifocal Contacts For Astigmatism

Numerous bifocal and multifocal soft contact lenses for astigmatism are readily available in the United States. During your contact lens examination and fitting, your eye care practitioner will be able to determine whether you are a good candidate for them, and which brand name is the best option for your specific needs.

To keep the astigmatism correction correctly positioned in front of the eye, most of these lenses are developed with a stabilization system.

Some are completely tailored to each wearer’s prescription needs, while others can be found in a more limited variety of range and near powers, as well as astigmatism correction.

Typically, there are two types of styles for soft bifocal contacts for astigmatism. One type includes a progressive power style, just like the design of progressive spectacles lenses. The other features concentric rings of various powers for various seeing distances.

In some concentric ring designs, the portion of the lens covering the center of the pupil has the power for near vision (“center-near” designs). In others, the main zone of the lens consists of the power for distance vision (“center-distance” designs).

Materials used for soft bifocal contacts for astigmatism consist of traditional hydrogels and more extremely breathable silicone hydrogels. Regular monthly, bimonthly, quarterly and semi-annual lens replacement schedules are possible, depending on the lens brand name, design and material.

Hybrid Bifocal Contacts For Astigmatism

Another option worth considering if you have both astigmatism and presbyopia is multifocal hybrid contact lenses.

Hybrid contacts have a central optical zone made from stiff gas permeable plastic, which is surrounded by a peripheral (non-optical) zone made of a soft lens product for simpler adaptation. For some people, this uses greater wearing convenience than conventional GP lenses.

Currently, just one contact lens producer (SynergEyes) provides FDA-approved multifocal hybrid contact lenses.

Cost Of Bifocal Contacts For Astigmatism

Because of the intricacy of the design of astigmatism-correcting bifocal contacts and the time and knowledge required to fit them, anticipate to pay significantly more for these contact lenses.

It’s not uncommon for bifocal contacts for astigmatism to cost at least two times what you would pay for toric lenses that correct just astigmatism (with or without nearsightedness or farsightedness) and as much as two times what you may pay for custom-made bifocal contacts that do not correct astigmatism.

You Still May Need Glasses (Occasionally)

Bifocal contacts for astigmatism generally provide outstanding functional vision for many everyday activities. But for some jobs, you will likely see better and/or be more comfy with readers over your contacts or with prescription spectacles rather than contact lenses.

For instance, it’s a great idea to have a set of reading glasses handy to use over toric multifocal contacts for reading really fine print (such as that on medicine bottle labels) or for fine detail work, like threading a needle and hand sewing.

Also, for extended computer system work and substantial reading, you normally will have higher clarity and convenience using glasses instead of contact lenses of any kind. This is because we tend to blink less frequently during these tasks, which causes contact lenses to end up being dry.

The quality of vision of specialty contact lenses such as bifocal contacts for astigmatism can be specifically impacted if the lenses dry and do not move properly or stay effectively positioned on the eye for precise astigmatism correction. Also, people over age 40 are more susceptible to dry eyes than younger adults.

For prolonged computer system work, I highly advise computer glasses rather than general-purpose bifocals or progressive lenses. Your optometrist can prescribe computer glasses that are specifically customized to supply the sharpest vision and biggest convenience for your preferred working range in front of your computer screen.

Dr. D.Roberts / author of the article
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Comments: 1
  1. Summer Anderson

    I have mild astigmatism, which I had actually ignored. Back when I wore contacts in college, I didn’t need any astigmatism correction, and I’m not sure that they had that ability at that time anyway. However a few years earlier, my doctor attempted to secure the astigmatism correction from my glasses, and it provided me a headache. So I am thankful to understand that astigmatism correction can be acquired via contacts now.

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