Multifocal lenses are designed to provide different powers of vision at different distances. How exactly do they work, and do they suit your vision?
What are multifocal contact lenses?
Multifocal contact lenses are lenses that have multiple areas of correction in the same lens. In general, one of the zones is used for the vision of close objects, another for the vision of distant objects, and finally others for intermediate distances. This design helps to correct presbyopia, an age-related visual defect that results in difficulty in properly focusing the image of nearby objects.
What is the difference between bifocal lenses and multifocal lenses?
Multifocal contact lenses are designed to provide a gradual transition between the area that corrects near vision, for reading, and that which corrects distance vision. They are very similar to progressive lens glasses. On the other hand, bifocal lenses present a clear demarcation between the zone which corrects near vision and that which corrects far vision.
Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses
As for materials, multifocal contact lenses can be made of either soft materials or rigid gas permeable (RPG) materials.
Broadly speaking, multifocal lenses come in two versions. The most common comprises a succession of concentric zones of distinct powers, prescribed for vision at different distances. The other version, a hybrid design, keeps corrections near the center of the eye for both near and far vision, which replicates the natural viewing experience by correcting the eyes’ precise aberration points.
Factors to consider when choosing multifocal contact lenses
How can you know if multifocal contact lenses are right for you? Here are some positives and negatives to consider before and during the consultation with the eye doctor.
Advantages of multifocal lenses
- Multifocal lenses have a whole series of advantages:
- Improved visual acuity for the distance range from near to far
- The ability to see in most conditions without having to wear glasses in addition to contact lenses
- Alternatives to multifocal contact lenses
- If multifocal contact lenses do not seem interesting to you, other solutions are available to you:
- Bifocal contact lenses
- Monovision Contact Lenses
- Disadvantages of multifocal contact lenses
- Despite their high performance capability, multifocal contact lenses have some disadvantages:
- More difficult adaptation due to different viewing experience
Your eye doctor is your best ally in all of your eye-related decisions, whether it’s contact lenses or other eye health care. He (she) will help you find the best solution to correct your vision, taking into account your lifestyle, and will follow up for the first few months to ensure that the choice was appropriate.