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Learn about Bifocal Contacts

You’ve reached a certain age, you know who you are, and suddenly can’t read fine print. Your eyes are fine when viewing street signs and billboards but menus at fast food restaurants are suddenly blurry no, it’s not too much trans fats.

You’ve got presbyopia. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many people beyond the age of 40 will develop presbyopia. Presbyopia happens when the crystalline lens of your eye loses its elasticity. There is no cure but there is a treatment bifocal contacts. Bifocal contacts or multifocal contacts help the eye see the fine print while leaving the distance vision alone.

Bifocal Contacts – The Straight Story

There are four types of contacts that battle presbyopia – bifocal, aspheric, concentric and monovision. They are made of soft and rigid materials and some can be worn daily. All will help to return your vision to normal but all take a different road.

Translating Contacts

When talking bifocals, people usually think an old man with a distinctive line cut across his eyeglass lenses. Translating or alternating lenses mimic bifocal eyeglasses with distinctive areas for near and distance vision. Most translating lenses are made of rigid materials as they need to ride along with the eyeball as it moves.

Aspheric Contacts

These are like progressive eyeglasses where the two vision areas mesh. The near portion is usually in the center while the distance vision portion is on the outside. Aspheric bifocal contacts are the most popular.

Concentric Contacts

Somewhat like aspheric contacts, concentric bifocal contacts alternate near and distance vision rings from the center to the outerbands. Depending on the material used, soft or rigid, will decide what ring begins in the center.

Monovision Contacts

Monovision uses your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant for near vision. This has a few hiccups, not the least of which is depth perception.

Bifocal contacts – Which is Correct

Part of the problem with bifocal contacts is that they’re tough to get used to. Trial and error may be the only way to determine which feels best and, more importantly, which give you the best vision. Aspheric contacts usually are prescribed where the add – the prescription for near vision – is low. That way the difference between the two prescriptions isn’t drastic. Those with a higher add will generally use translating contacts.

Work with your eye care professional to see which is best.


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