What are multifocal contact lenses
A multifocal contact lens is any type of contact lens that has two or more “powers”, or prescriptions. The prescriptions for multifocal contact lenses generally are made up of one prescription to see things clearly at a distance, and then another prescription for close distances. This arrangement is ideal for people with presbyopia, as it is able to correct age-related vision problems where the eye can no longer see things clearly up close.
Types of multifocal contact lenses
Multifocal contact lenses come in both soft lens multiple use and single use materials. The two main types of multifocal contact lenses are known as soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses (otherwise known as hard). Soft multifocal contact lenses are the most common and tend to be easier to adjust to than RGP contact lenses. RGP contact lenses on the other hand are generally more durable, easier to handle and less likely to tear, however, they are initially less comfortable and easy to get used to than soft contact lenses.
Benefits of multifocal contact lenses
- Better vision for the range of distances from near to far
- A less abrupt switch between prescriptions
- The ability to see clearly in most conditions without the need for extra eyewear.
Disadvantages of multifocal contact lenses
- More difficult to adjust to due to a different viewing experience.
- Accompanied by night-time glare and hazy or shadowy vision during the adjustment period.
- More expensive due to the increased complexity in design
Alternatives to multifocal contact lenses
If you don’t think multifocal contact lenses are a good fit for you, there are a number of other options, including:
- Pairing reading glasses with normal contact lenses
- Monovision contact lenses (one eye focussed for distance – typically your dominant eye, one eye focussed for near – non dominant eye)