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How do multifocal contact lenses work?

Who are they for?

Multifocal contact lenses are most commonly used to treat presbyopia, which is caused by the eye aging. In the past if you had presbyopia your only option was to use reading glasses to look at objects close up—like a book, computer screen or restaurant menu. But now multifocal contact lenses are available that allow you to see nearby objects as well as those in the distance with clarity—and you’ll never need to wear glasses again!

If you are over 40 years of age, multifocal contact lenses could be very useful. Many people use them to enjoy outdoor activities like sports, riding a bike, jogging, and going to the gym. Others simply find glasses cumbersome.

How do multifocal contact lenses work?

How do they work?

Multifocal contact lenses are exactly what they sound like: lenses with multiple prescriptions all-in-one. Commonly there is a prescription for looking at close objects, a prescription for looking at objects in the distance and sometimes even a number of prescriptions for in-between distances. Basically, multifocal contact lenses allow you to see at various distances using one type of vision correction that has different lens powers. They share a lot in common with progressive glasses.

How multifocal contact lenses work depends on their design. Three common designs are concentric vision, alternating vision and simultaneous vision.

Concentric vision

Concentric multifocal contact lenses are the most common way to treat presbyopia. They work by using a number of concentric circles with different lens power prescriptions for different distances.

Alternating vision

With alternating multifocal contact lenses your pupil shifts between the different lens powers as you look up and down. They have separate areas in the lens for near and distance vision. Similar to bifocal glasses, alternating multifocal contact lenses have a top section that is used for distance vision and a bottom section for near vision. This is so you can easily ‘alternate’ from looking straight ahead at objects in the distance to looking down at a book or phone screen.

Simultaneous vision

With simultaneous vision contact lenses, the near and distance vision sections are both positioned in front of your pupil. Your eye looks through different lens powers at the same time and your brain chooses the correct power for the object you’re looing at.

EYESONLINE multifocal contact lenses

At EYESONLINE we stock a number of brands of multifocal contact lenses, including:

  • Proclear
  • Air Optix
  • Biofinity
  • Dailies
  • Bausch and Lomb.

See our full range of multifocal contact lenses.