When it comes to versatility, nothing beats multifocal contact lenses. Multifocals allow you to see clearly and comfortably at more than one distance because they feature different prescriptions in a single lens.
First things first, what are they and how do they work?
Bifocal, trifocal, and progressive lenses are all known as multifocal lenses. Much like multifocal glasses, they are all corrective contact lenses that are placed on the eye itself and used to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Contact lenses come in many different types, from dailies to rigid gas permeable to soft-colored cosmetic contacts.
Choosing what is best for your eye care needs can seem a little overwhelming. The first step in the process is to visit your optometrist for an expert opinion.
An optometrist will tell you exactly what type of refractive errors you have. A diagnosis will help you choose which contact lenses are best for you.
It is a normal and natural part of life to lose your ability to focus after the age of 40 and multifocal contact lenses can assist you in more refractive errors than one.
Progressive lenses are specially designed corrective lenses that increase in prescription power gradually.
In multifocal glasses, for example, you can read a book or phone messages up close by looking through the bottom of the lens. You can read an email on your laptop at an intermediate distance. And you can drive safely by being able to view far objects at the top of the lens.
Bifocal lenses are segmented into two distinct prescription powers whilst trifocal lenses have three.
However, multifocal contact lenses are a little different besides the obvious difference of being placed on the eye itself. There are two types of multifocal contact lenses.
Alternating Vision lenses:
Alternating vision lenses enable you to go between two different powers as your pupil moves up and down. You’ll have to switch between distance and near viewing powers. There is usually a line in the lens which determines which part of the lens you use.
Simultaneous vision lenses:
Simultaneous vision lenses force your eyes to look through different prescription powers at the same time. You’ll have to learn how to use the correct prescription powers depending on what you are looking at. The more you use the lenses, the more your eyes and brain get a chance to adjust.
Of these simultaneous vision lenses, there are aspheric and concentric multifocal lenses. Aspheric multifocal lenses have a gradual transition between near and distance vision. Concentric multifocal lenses have rings of alternating prescription powers much like a bull’s eye pattern.
What lenses you decide on depends on several factors. Cost, convenience, preference, occupation, nature of the refractive error, and a major one with multifocal contact lenses is comfort.
Multifocal contact lenses may make more sense to you if you need them to play sports or don’t find glasses of any kind visually appealing. However, some people may find multifocal contact lenses inconvenient whilst others find them very convenient.
It’s a matter of personal preference.
Your eye doctor is your best ally when you’re thinking about getting multifocal contact lenses and other eye care decisions. He or she will help you find the right corrective options for you to suit your lifestyle and evaluate you in the first few months to make sure the choice was appropriate.
Q1) What are some interesting facts regarding contact lenses?
- The first contact lens was designed by Leonardo da Vinci in 1508.
- About 125 million people worldwide wear contact lenses, and soft lenses are strongly preferred.
- Two-thirds of contact lens wearers are female, and the average age of wearers around the world is 31 years old.
- Approximately 40%-90% of all contact lens wearers do not follow the proper instructions given by their optometrist.
- People who wear contacts have higher self-confidence than those who wear glasses for vision correction, especially among teenagers.
Q2) What are some multifocal contact lens alternatives?
A2) If multifocal lenses don’t sound like they’re a good fit, there are a few other options, including:
- Pairing reading glasses with normal contact lenses
- Monovision contact lenses
- Bifocal contact lenses
- Surgical correction or lens implantation recommended by your doctor