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Bifocal and Multifocal

Presbyopia is a natural process that occurs as the eye ages and the eye’s natural lens loses the ability to focus on close objects. Presbyopia affects the majority of people from age 40 and upward. 


Individuals with presbyopia often need to hold reading materials such as newspapers and menus an arm’s length away from their eyes in order to see clearly. Presbyopia can be corrected with reading glasses with bifocal or multifocal (progressive) lenses.

The Difference Between Bifocal and Multifocal Lenses

Bifocal lenses are divided into two distinct segments for different vision powers, the upper half for distance vision and the lower for near vision. Bifocals enable you to switch your focus from near to far as required, but your vision will likely not be clear in between.

Multifocal lenses refer to any lenses with multiple powers including bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses. Multifocal contact lenses allow you to be able to view any direction and with similar vision and give you added freedom over glasses.

Fortunately for those who don’t like the look, feel or inconvenience of reading glasses, there is another option. Bifocal and multifocal lenses are also available in contact lenses in both soft and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) varieties.

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Multifocal contact lenses are generally designed in one of two ways, as either simultaneous vision lenses or alternating vision lenses.

Simultaneous Vision Lenses

The most popular version of multifocal contact lenses, simultaneous vision lenses present the near vision and distance zones of the lens simultaneously. In most cases, after a short adjustment period, your eyes learn to use the part of the lens they need to focus on the desired object and basically ignore the other.

Translating or Alternating Vision Lenses

Similar to bifocal eyeglass lenses, these contacts are divided into distinct areas or zones and your pupil will move to the desired zone depending on your vision needs. Typically the top of the lens is what you look through when looking straight ahead for distance vision, and the bottom area (what you look through when you look down) is for near vision. However, this can be reversed according to your unique vision needs.

 

An Alternative Option to Multifocal Contact Lenses: Monovision

Another contact lens alternative is monovision, especially for those having trouble adapting to multifocal lenses. Monovision splits your near and distance vision between your eyes, using your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant eye for near vision.

Are Contact Lenses Right for You?

If you have presbyopia, you may prefer the look and convenience of contact lenses over traditional reading glasses. Speak to our Calgary Blink Eyewear eye doctors about the options available to you.

 

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Contact us or drop by one of our Blink Eyewear locations at West Springs, Creekside, or Crowfoot and receive the eye care you need. We are here for you.

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