Multi Focal Contact Lenses
Are you one of the 4 types of people who are good candidates for multifocal contacts?
Patients who benefit from multifocal contact lenses are typically:
- Over 40
- Presbyopia sufferers
- Need more than one type of prescription
- Contact lens wearers
Age-related near-vision blurriness is so common, it’s actually considered normal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t treat it. Even if you have both nearsightedness and farsightedness – and want to be able to see clearly at all distances – you don’t have to let glasses get in the way of your favorite activities. Switching into reading glasses every time you want to focus on something up close is a drag. It’s not too late to try contacts, even if you haven’t worn them up until now.
What types of multifocal contacts are there?
1. Material: Multifocal contact lenses are available as soft contacts, rigid gas permeable (GP or hard contacts) or a combination of the two in a hybrid contact lens form by certain manufacturers. Silicone hydrogel is one of the latest contact lens materials, allowing more oxygen flow for more comfort.
2. Wearing schedule: Depending on the type, multifocal contacts may be available in a variety of wearing schedules, including extended wear and disposables.
3. Brands include:
- Air Optix Aqua Multifocal (Alcon)
- Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia (Bausch + Lomb)
- Biofinity Multifocal (CooperVision)
- Acuvue Oasys Multifocal (Johnson & Johnson Vision Care)
- MyDay Daily Multifocal (CooperVision)
How do multifocal contact lenses work?
Multifocals can be divided into 2 basic designs plus a 3rd type of technique:
Simultaneous vision lenses:
Prescriptions alternate throughout the lenses and the eye learns to compensate by using the right part of the lens when needed. The most popular type of multifocal, they are nearly always soft lenses, and are available in two designs:
- Concentric ring designs – with alternating rings of distance and near powers.
- Aspheric designs – progressive-style, with many powers blended across the lens surface. Some aspheric lenses have the distance power in the center of the lens; others have the near power in the center.
Alternating vision (or translating) lenses:
Designed more like bifocals, the top part of the lens has the distance power for when you look straight ahead, and the bottom part of the lens contains the near power. When you look down, your lower lid holds the lens in place while your pupil moves (translates) into the near zone of the lens for reading. Commonly, these are manufactured as rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses, which are smaller.
One eye wears a contact lens for distance-vision correction and the other eye wears a near-vision or multifocal lens. The visual system learns to automatically use the appropriate eye to focus at the right distance.