Multifocal contacts help people see clearly across a range of distances, and are often used to correct presbyopia. Multifocal lenses bend light to more than one focal point on the retina. This is how they compensate for refractive errors affecting near, intermediate, and distance vision. Many people with presbyopia choose to wear multifocal contacts rather than juggling two pairs of prescription glasses.
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia, also known as age-related farsightedness, is a common vision concern in people over 40. As we age, it becomes more difficult for our eyes to focus on nearby objects. Many people need one prescription to read and another to see things farther away. Multifocal contacts are a popular option for dealing with presbyopia.
How Multifocal Contacts Work
Multifocal contacts are wonders of optical engineering that provide more than one prescription power in a single lens—no small feat. This is accomplished with a complex structure that brings light to different focal points depending on where it enters the lens. Consumers have several types of multifocal contacts to choose from, including:
Simultaneous Vision: There are two types of simultaneous vision lenses. The concentric design features alternating powers arranged in concentric circles. The aspheric approach gradually changes the prescription as you move outward from the center of the lens. Your brain learns to pay attention to the part of the lens that provides the clearest vision in a given situation.
Segmented Vision: A distinct border separates each prescription, similar to the design of bifocal glasses. In order for segmented lenses to work properly, your pupil must be able to move beneath them so you can use the proper prescription. This is accomplished with a simple design tweak: when looking down, the bottom of the lens gently touches the lower eyelid, pushing the lens back towards the center of the eye.
What are Bifocal Contact Lenses?
Bifocal contacts can only accommodate two prescriptions. They are the simplest form of multifocal contact lenses and operate on similar principles.
Who Needs Multifocal Contacts?
Multifocal contacts are usually prescribed to treat presbyopia. Only an optometrist or ophthalmologist can write a prescription forcontacts. If you’re experiencing blurry vision, we can help you find an eye doctor.
Are Multifocal Contact Lenses Comfortable?
There can be a period of adjustment when you start wearing multifocal contacts, but most people get used to them. Lens materials vary, from soft to rigid gas permeable (RGP). Your eye doctor will have you sit for a contact lens fitting during your comprehensive eye exam, and should be able to answer any questions you have about multifocal contacts.
Pros & Cons of Multifocal Contacts
Here are some of the things people like about multifocal contact lenses:
- A single pair of contacts can correct presbyopia.
- You don’t have to worry about carrying reading glasses.
- Contact lenses can be worn when playing sports.
There are some disadvantages to wearing multifocal contacts:
- Multifocal contacts can be expensive.
- It takes time for your brain to adjust to multifocal contacts.
- You have to clean contacts on a regular basis to prevent eye infections.
Can You Buy Multifocal Contacts Online?
Yes! Eyeconic has multifocal contact lenses from major brands, including AIR OPTIX, ACUVUE, Proclear, and DAILIES. We accept VSP, MetLife, or Cigna vision benefits, as well as FSA/HSA funds. Out of network? You may be able to file a claims form for reimbursement from your provider.
Popular Multifocal Contact Lenses
These are some of the contact lenses available from Eyeconic:
AIR OPTIX Aqua Multifocal Contacts – 6 Pack
Proclear Multifocal XR Contacts – 6 Pack
Biofinity Multifocal Contacts – 6 Pack
ACUVUE OASYS for Presbyopia – 6 Pack
DAILIES AquaComfort PLUS Multifocal Contacts – 90 Pack
Trying contacts for the first time? We created Contact Lenses 101 to answer all your questions about lens types, contact care, and more.