THE FREEDOM OF MULTIFOCAL CONTACT LENSES
If you’re between 45 and 55 you’ve likely started wearing reading glasses to see a menu or look at your phone. And if you’re in your 50s and 60s, those readers might be a more permanent fixture on top of your head or hanging from a chain around your neck.
Which, for some, can be a pesky inconvenience, especially if you also require correction for distant and intermediate vision. You may have thought about multifocal glasses, such as bifocals or progressives. These lenses combine your prescriptions, enabling you to see clearly while looking down or straight ahead.
Did you know that you can also get contact lenses with multiple prescriptions? Thanks to advancements in contact lens technology, multifocal contact lenses are an exciting option that helps you to see all distances clearly and sharply, near to far. It might feel like magic!
Multifocal contact lenses are very similar to progressive glasses and they have the added advantage of doing all the adjusting work without the wearer noticing. You don't have to move your head because the lenses move with your eye. That means you won't be aware of changing viewing distances — whether you’re looking at your phone, working on the computer or driving. Much like before you had vision issues.
There are two types of multifocal contact lenses: Simultaneous vision and alternating vision lenses. Your eye doctor will help you decide which one is best for your vision, pupil size and eye health.
Simultaneous vision lenses allow the wearer to look through distance and near powers at the same time. Your eyes select the correct option, depending on what you’re looking at, whether it’s up close, arm’s length or in the distance.
There are two types of simultaneous vision lenses: Aspheric and concentric.
Aspheric multifocal contact lenses work like progressive glass lenses — they’re often even described as “progressive” — and contain more than one prescription. The different powers are blended throughout varying curvatures across the surface in a gradual transition.
This progressive change from far to near prescriptions results in sharp, clear and bright vision, regardless of the distance being viewed: close up, far away and in between. This smooth movement between powers makes aspheric multifocal contact lenses one of the most popular multifocal contact lens options.
Concentric multifocal lenses use concentric rings of alternating powers to achieve simultaneous vision. Imagine a bullseye or target in the center of the lens: This center point is one prescription, typically for distance (but can also be near.) Rings of alternating powers then reach outward from the center, each a distinct optical zone of near and distance strengths. The result is a smooth, gradual movement from one prescription to the next.
Alternating vision lenses work a little differently. There is a more noticeable division between powers, similar to bifocal or trifocal lenses. Also known as translating or segmented vision lenses, they have a near vision zone at the bottom and a distance vision zone at the top (or, if you need them for farsightedness only, the top zone is clear).
Sometimes there’s a line to separate the two prescriptions to help the wearer know which area of the lens to use: straight ahead for distance or downward for near vision correction. As your pupil moves, the lens stays in place, allowing you to easily move between powers.
Alternating vision lenses are rigid gas permeable and are smaller than regular soft contacts.
Multifocal contact lenses can be a gamechanger, offering convenience and freedom from having multiple pairs of glasses or wearing glasses at all.
However, wearing them takes a bit of getting used to. Training your eye to look through distance and near powers at the same time can be an adjustment. The good news is that it typically takes around seven to 10 days to get comfortable. Once your brain has figured out this exciting new way of seeing, you won’t notice anything — other than crystal clear vision at all distances!
Interested in learning more about multifocal contact lenses? Contact our customer service team at 1-800-404-7317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. We’re here to help.