Multifocal Contact Lenses
Usually beginning at the age of early 40's, you may start to notice holding reading materials such as a menu or newspaper further away from the your eyes will make it easier to see clearly. This condition is called presbyopia. Multifocal contact lenses are designed to relieve the frustation from presbyopia and provide good near vision.
Multifocal contact lenses are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP) designs and materials at Avery Ranch Eye Care.
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Multifocal contact lenses, are similiar to progressive eyeglass lenses, in that they have a range of powers for seeing clearly far away, up close, and everywhere in between.
Types of multifocal contact lenses
Based on design, there are basically two types of multifocal contact lenses:
Simultaneous vision lenses. With these lenses, both distance and near zones of the lens are in front of your pupil at the same time. After a short period of time to adjust, your visual system learns how to use the power you need and ignore the other lens power depending on what you are looking at. Simultaneous vision lenses are the most popular type of multifocal contact lens. They are nearly always soft lenses, and are available in two designs:
- Concentric ring designs - These lenses contain either the distance or near power in the center of the lens, with alternating rings of distance and near powers surrounding it.
- Aspheric designs - These lenses contain many powers blended across the lens surface. Some aspheric lenses have the distance power in the center of the lens and others have the near power in the center.
- Alternating vision (or translating) lenses. These are RGP multifocal lenses that are designed like bifocal eyeglass lenses. The top part of the lens has the distance power, and the bottom part of the lens contains the near power. When you look straight ahead, your eye is looking through the distance part of the lens. 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.
Will multifocal contact lenses work for me?
Even though most people who wear multifocal contact lenses love the vision and comfort they provide, some people are in need of another option for presbyopia. Monovision and modified monovision are the alternatives. With monovision you wear a single vision contact lens on one eye for your distance vision and a single vision contact lens on the other eye for your near vision. With modified monovision, you wear a single vision distance lens on one eye and then a multifocal contact lens on the other eye to help the near vision.
If you are interested in learning more about contact lenses for presbyopia, please call our Austin eye clinic for your consulation today at 512-255-7070.