Multifocal Contact Lenses

Last updated on May 24th, 2017 at 02:25 pm

Are you over 40? If so, you may want to think about using multifocal contact lenses. You’re most likely much more active than your parents were at your age. So it’s not a surprise that many people 40 and older choose contact lenses over glasses for their active way of lives.

What Are the Best Multifocal Contact Lenses for Presbyopia?

As soon as we reach our mid-40s, presbyopia makes it difficult to focus on near objects. Reading glasses used to be the only choice readily available to contact lens wearers who wished to read a menu or do other daily jobs that need good near vision.

However today, a variety of multifocal contact lens alternatives are offered for you to think about. Multifocal contact lenses provide the best of both worlds: no glasses, in addition to good near and range vision.

Some multifocal contact lenses have a bifocal design with two distinct lens powers– one for your range vision and one for near. Others have a multifocal design rather like progressive eyeglass lenses, with a progressive modification in lens power for a natural visual shift from distance to close-up.

Multifocal contacts are offered in both soft and stiff gas permeable (RGP or GP) lens products and are created for everyday wear or extended (overnight) wear. Soft multifocal lenses can be easily endured a part-time basis, so they’re great for weekends and other occasions if you choose not to use them on an all-day, every day schedule.

For the supreme in benefit, one-day disposable soft multifocal lenses permit you to discard the lenses at the end of a single day of wear, so there’s no hassle with lens care.

Multifocal Contact Lenses

In some cases, GP multifocal contact lenses supply sharper vision than soft multifocals. However since of their rigid nature, GP multifocal contacts need some adjustment and are more comfortable if you condition your eyes by using the lenses every day.

Hybrid multifocal contacts are an exciting brand-new option. These lenses have a GP center and a soft periphery, making it simpler to adapt.

Multifocal Designs

A typically used contact lens design for people with presbyopia is the concentric bifocal pattern. In this kind of contact lens, the near correction is in a little circle at the center of the lens, surrounded by a much bigger circle including the range correction. The range correction could be put in the center rather, with the near prescription in the external ring.

Beyond this familiar setup, the two standard multifocal contact lens styles are rotating and synchronised image.

Rotating image styles (likewise called translating styles) have distinct zones in the lens for distance vision and near vision. These styles are readily available in gas permeable lens products only.

Like bifocal glasses, the top part of a rotating image multifocal GP lens is for range vision and the bottom part is for near. The two zones are separated by an almost invisible line that assists your eye care expert identify if the lens is fitting appropriately.

When you look straight ahead while wearing an alternating multifocal, you’re checking out the range portion of the GP lens. When you look down to read, the lens remains supported by your lower cover, so your line of sight now passes through the lower (near vision) part of the lens.

The near sector can have a half-moon, crescent or annular shape. (The annular segment circles around the whole periphery of the lens.)

In rotating multifocals with half-moon or crescent-shaped near sectors, the lens keeps its proper rotational position by ways of an area of unequal density in the lens called a prism ballast. Sometimes, the bottom edge of the lens is likewise truncated to assist align it correctly with the user’s lower cover.

Because alternating multifocal lenses typically have simply two lens powers, these lenses typically offer good vision for driving and for reading. However they might not perform in addition to synchronised image designs for computer system work and other intermediate-range visual jobs.

Simultaneous image styles have both distance and near vision portions of the lens in front of the student at the same time. These designs are readily available in both soft and GP lens products.

Your brain needs to determine which area of the lens to highlight and which area to disregard to offer the best image resolution.

Blended designs, such as the aspheric example revealed here, can be complicated because they seek to correct the particular points of aberration in your eyes, to supply the most natural vision experience possible.


In the past, soft multifocal contact lenses could not fix astigmatism. If you had astigmatism, your only option in multifocal contact lenses was stiff gas permeable lenses.

Today, soft multifocal contacts can likewise remedy astigmatism by using a toric lens design. The lenses accomplish the proper rotational positioning on the eye by means of unequal density zones in the lens to create a prism ballast result (much like that on a translating GP multifocal).

Hybrid multifocal contact lenses also correct most types of astigmatism.


Till you have a contact lens fitting, there’s no other way to understand for sure if you’ll be able to successfully adjust to wearing multifocal contact lenses. If multifocal lenses aren’t comfy or don’t provide you appropriate vision, a monovision contact lens fitting might be a good option.

Monovision uses your dominant eye for distance vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. Right-handed people have the tendency to be right-eye dominant and left-handed folks left-eye dominant. But your eye care specialist will carry out testing to make that decision.

Usually, single vision contact lenses are used for monovision. One benefit here is that single vision lenses are less costly to replace, reducing your annual contact lens expenditures.

But sometimes, better results can be accomplished using a single vision lens on the dominant eye for distance vision and a multifocal lens on the other eye for intermediate and near vision.

Other times, your eye care specialist may choose a distance-biased multifocal on your dominant eye and a near-biased multifocal on the other eye. These techniques are referred to as modified monovision fits.

What If Multifocal Contacts Don’t Work Out?

If your multifocal contact lenses do not work out for you, your eye care specialist can return most brands to the manufacturer for a refund. So if you’re a not successful user, you can usually get a complete or partial refund of the product expenses of your contact lens fitting charge.

However part of your contact lens fitting cost includes the time and services your eye doctor or contact lens fitter supplies during the fitting and follow-up visits. This part of your overall fitting charge generally is not refundable.

To increase your possibilities of success with multifocal contact lenses, it’s crucial to handle your expectations. These lenses normally won’t have the ability to match the clearness you get with bifocal or progressive glasses lenses. It’s likewise likely you will still need single vision eyeglasses or reading glasses for specific jobs like driving at night or checking out fine print.

But it’s affordable to expect multifocal contact lenses to give you really acceptable vision for 80 percent of your daily activities, and without the requirement for supplemental spectacles.

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