Are you tired of wearing traditional glasses all the time? Or are your current contact lenses simply not providing the kind of clarity you had hoped? Why not try multifocal contact lenses? This comprehensive guide will help you educate yourself on what kinds of lenses are currently available. Keep in mind that not all contact lenses are the same. You should make an informed choice depending on your personal preference and vision needs.
Bifocal? Multifocal? What does that even mean?
Bifocal and multifocal are simply two different terms for describing two different kinds of contact lenses. The first, bifocals, have two powers: one for seeing things clearly from a distance, and the other for viewing objects up close. On the other hand, multifocal contact lenses have an entire range of powers for not only seeing clearly up close and far away, but for every kind of viewing in between. Both lenses are made in either soft and rigid gas permeable materials for optimum durability and comfort. However, of the two choices, multifocal lenses provide everything the bifocal lenses offer but more.
Are there certain kinds of multifocal lenses?
In reference to design alone, there are two different kinds of multifocal contact lenses: simultaneous and translating lenses. Each has its own unique properties and specifications.
- Simultaneous vision lenses: In this design, both zones that allow wearers to see far away and up close are directly in front of the pupil at the same time. This may seem like it might be difficult to see properly, but your eyes adjust to the contacts quite rapidly by choosing only one desired vision power strength at a time. Simultaneous vision contacts remain the most popular choice for multifocal lenses and are available in two types: concentric rings or aspheric. Concentric resembles a bullseye with several rings of different power strengths moving outward from the center. Aspheric lenses blend all the power strengths across the surface of the lens.
- Translating or alternating vision contact lenses operate differently than simultaneous vision lenses. They are designed more similarly to traditional bifocal lenses that have two separate zones for viewing objects both close and far away. The upper part of the lens is the zone for distance power and the bottom part contains the power for seeing up close. Essentially, your eyes are trained to view at objects both close and far away through different parts of the lens.
Are multifocal lenses the best option for me?
Although multifocal lenses remain the most popular choice among contact wearers, you always have the option to wear monovision or “single vision” lenses. In cases where one eye is near-sighted and the other is normal or far-sighted, you may way to wear one single vision lens and one multifocal lens to help balance out the difference. In either case, it is very important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist for a complete assessment regarding what kind of contact lens is best for you. Instead of guessing what will make you see the best, the doctor will allow you to try on lenses until you find the perfect fit.