How do Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses Work?
Did you pick up a book recently, only to notice the text looked a bit blurry? Around the age of 40, many adults will notice a decline in their near vision. This is due to the fact that patients at this age need more light than they used to in order to see. This common condition is known as presbyopia.
Don’t let the long and official-sounding label scare you; even if your vision now requires a bifocal lens, the variety of multifocal contact lenses available on the market can make your life every bit as comfortable as it was before.
Bifocal and multifocal contact lenses have two or more prescriptions in the same lens, and are sold in one of two types of bifocal pattern vision designs:
Alternating Image Design– Similar to lined bifocal glasses, the top portion of Translating or Bifocal contact lenses offers correction for distance while the lower portion provides correction for near vision. The two areas are separated by a barely detectable line.
When wearers stare straight ahead, they look through the upper half or the distance portion of the contact lens. Conversely, when looking downward, the contact lens is designed to stay in place and allow the wearer to experience near vision. This translating design calls for patients to learn to ignore items outside of their focus field to enjoy improved vision.
Simultaneous Image Design– Aspheric Multifocal contact lenses provide the pupil with distance and near vision simultaneously. The patient does not need to look through different sections of the contact lens, but instead train his or her brain to determine which parts of the lens they need to use to experience the best resolution.
In Aspheric contacts, the power of the contact lens comes in different designs. In some popular designs, much of the lens power is located in the center of the contact lens and vision is progressively transitioned from inward to increase distance power. Other Aspheric contact lenses are built exactly opposite: The lens center is designed for distance and the outer edge of the lens provides near vision.
Which Bifocal or Multifocal Contact Lens Will Work Best For Me?
When choosing the best bifocal or multifocal contact lens for your lifestyle and vision, the prescription and recommendation should be directed by your optometrist. Today’s market offers a wide variety of different types of contact lenses for presbyopia. Discuss your unique needs with your doctor, and ask him or her about some of the following brands:
Acuvue Oasys contact lenses feature Stereo Precision Technology and Hydraclear Plus Technology for balanced vision and moisture control. They are also a popular choice with professional baseball players because of the added UV protection from the sun.
Bauch & Lomb’s PureVision Multifocal contacts are crafted with comfortable silicone hydrogel and offer the advantage of continuous wear for 30 days.
Bauch & Lomb also offers a brand called Soflens Multifocal contact lenses. These contacts offer a halo effect reducer to prevent glare while driving. These contacts should be replaced every two weeks.
If you suffer from dry eyes, ProClear Multifocal might be a good choice for your prescription. ProClear claims their design works to prevent a buildup of mineral deposits on the lens, which helps to retain moisture.
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