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A Guide to Bifocal Contact Lenses

Bifocal contact lenses are the first line of defense in the battle against presbyopia. Presbyopia is a condition that affects almost everyone as they age. What happens is the eye loses some of its elasticity and people begin to notice a difficulty with reading fine print. What bifocals do is place two prescriptions in the same contact lens.

Bifocal Contact Lens Solutions – Three’s Not a Crowd

There are three different solutions to one problem. Bifocal contact lenses are most common but multifocal lenses, which may be called progressive lenses and monovision lenses, are also attempts to solve presbyopia.

Bifocal Contact Lenses:

When thinking of bifocal lenses of any sort, a picture of an aging man wearing glasses with a very definitive line etched across the middle comes into clear view.

There is a corresponding bifocal contact lens that works in the same manner. Called translating bifocal contact lenses, the bottom half of the contact lens is for correcting near eyesight issues and the top for correcting distance issues. These bifocal contact lenses generally made of GP work because they hug the eyeball and move as the eye moves.

The alternative is a design developed around concentric rings. With concentric ring bifocal contact lenses, the near prescription is likely in the middle and the distance prescription generally on the outer bands. These can be made of either soft or rigid materials.

Multifocal Contact Lenses:

Just to add to the confusion, bifocal contact lenses can also be referred to as multifocal contact lenses, which can be referred to as progressive lenses. The story with multifocal contact lenses is that the near and distance areas are mixed together and the change between them is less distinct.

They are somewhat similar to the concentric ring bifocal lenses.

Monovision Contact Lenses:

Unlike bifocal or multifocal contact lenses, monovision contact lenses make the eyes work separately. One lens, the non-dominant eye, is set for near vision while the dominant is set for distance.

Bifocal Contact Lens Issues

There is no easy solution to presbyopia. We’ve all known someone that tries to get by with multiple pairs of glasses. And don’t get us started about bifocal glasses; is there anything on the planet that ages a person quicker than bifocals?

Bifocal contact lenses take some getting used to, especially monovision lenses which affect the wearer’s depth perception. It is very likely that a person wanting bifocal contact lenses will go on a bit of a journey before settling on the pair that feels best. Once they have settled it is unlikely they’ll go back to the two pairs of glasses routine or looking like Ben Franklin.


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