The Benefits of Multifocal Contact Lenses
Reading the small print becomes a challenge when presbyopia changes your ability to focus on nearby objects. The age-related eye condition happens when the lens inside your eye becomes less flexible, making it harder to see close objects clearly. If you're already nearsighted or farsighted, a presbyopia diagnosis used to mean wearing trifocals, bifocals, or progressive eyeglass lenses. Luckily, that changed with the introduction of multifocal contact lenses that provide clear vision at any distance.
How Multifocal Contact Lenses Work
Multifocal lenses feature several different vision zones in one contact lens, allowing for clear vision near, far, and in-between. When you switch your focus from the traffic light several car lengths away to the dashboard in front of you, your vision seamlessly transitions from far to near.
Concentric multifocal lenses have alternating bands of near and far lens powers, while the center of the aspheric multifocal lens contains one power that gradually strengthens or weakens over the surface of the lens. A segmented, or translating, multifocal lens contains two distinct lens powers, just like bifocal eyeglass lenses. These gas-permeable lenses are made of rigid plastic, while the concentric and aspheric lenses use soft plastics.
Multifocal contacts are available in disposable, daily-wear and extended-wear lenses. Although they're frequently prescribed for people who have presbyopia in addition to other refractive errors, like nearsightedness or farsightedness, multi-focal lenses can be worn by people of any age.
7 Advantages of Multifocal Contact Lenses
Multifocal contact lenses offer several benefits that may make them a good choice for you, including:
- No Need for Glasses. You won't need to rely on reading glasses to decipher labels or instructions when you opt for multifocal contact lenses. Scratched or fogged eyeglass lenses, and painful earpieces or nose pads won't be problems either. Of course, you should keep a pair of backup eyeglasses on hand for those times when you aren't wearing your contact lenses. Be sure to follow your optometrist's recommendations for maximum contact lens wear times.
- No More Head Tilting. When you use progressive eyeglass lenses, trifocal, or bifocals, seeing well often involves moving your head slightly to correspond with the specific vision power you need for a task. Since multifocal contact lenses adjust automatically, you'll no longer have to tilt your head to see clearly. That may seem like a minor benefit, but it's a big advantage if you happen to have arthritis in your neck.
- Better Vision. Since multifocal lenses don't have abrupt shifts in lens powers, you may notice that everything looks sharper and clearer.
- A Good Option for Astigmatism. Were you told that multifocal lenses weren't right for you because of your astigmatism? Recent advances in multifocal lens technology mean that people with astigmatism can now take advantage of the many benefits of multifocal contact lenses.
- Better Sports Performance. Multifocal lenses help you see the field, court, track, or your opponents clearly, no matter the distance. They can be paired with sports goggles to offer excellent vision when you're participating in your favorite activity or sport.
- Good Depth Perception. Poor depth perception can be an issue with progressive eyeglass lenses, especially during the transition period when you're getting used to them. Multifocal contact lenses make it a little easier for the brain to combine and process the information it receives from your eyes while using this type of lens.
- Slower Progression of Myopia. Wearing multifocal lenses could slow the rate of myopia (nearsightedness) in children. When researchers evaluated the differences between wearing high- and medium-power lenses, they discovered that high-power lenses slowed the myopia progression rate significantly compared to medium-power lenses. Their study, which was published in JAMA in 2020, focused on children aged 7 to 11.
Would you like to find out if multifocal contact lenses are a good choice for you? Contact our office to schedule an appointment with the optometrist.
JAMA: Effect of High Add Power, Medium Add Power, or Single-Vision Contact Lenses on Myopia Progression in Children: The BLINK Randomized Clinical Trial, 8/11/2020
Optometry Times: 4 Ways to Maximize Success with Multifocal Contact Lenses, 6/23/2022
All About Vision: Multifocal Contact Lenses for Presbyopia, 2/27/2019
Modern Optometry: Myopia Control with Multifocal Contact Lenses, May/June/2020