How Does Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses Differ?

Posted by Turtle Contacts on

Both Bifocal and Multifocal contact lenses are designed for people who reach their 40’s to be able to help in giving them a clearer vision. At this age, you may experience reading magazines or newspapers while holding them at a significant distance from your eyes. This condition is called Presbyopia. It is defined as an age related close up vision loss.

Bifocal and Multifocal lenses can both be purchased in soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP) types of lenses.

What’s the difference between Bifocal and Multifocal Contact lenses?

Bifocal contact lenses, just like bifocal eyeglasses, can do two different things: it can help you see clearly far away, and it can help you see clearly up close. On the other hand, multifocal contact lenses, similar to progressive eyeglasses, are those that have a range of power for seeing clearly far away, up close, and anywhere in between. (Multifocal is a collective term for all lenses that has more than one power, including bifocals)

Different Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses

  • Simultaneous Vision Lenses- By using this type of lenses, both distant and near zones of your lens are in front of your pupil at the same time. Although this may sound very difficult to adapt into, in ample time, your eyes will be used to just using the power it needs and ignoring other lens powers, depending on what your eyes focus on. This is the most popular type of multifocal contact lenses. They usually come in soft lenses and are available in two different designs:
    1. Aspheric Designs- These are those progressive style multifocal lenses which has a lot of powers that are blended across the lens surface. Some of these lenses have the distance power in the center of the lens, while some have the near power at the same spot.
    2. Concentric Ring Designs- This is an example of bifocal lenses that has either the distance or near power in the center of the lens. This also has alternating rings of distance and near power surrounding it.

  • Alternating Vision or Translating Lenses- These are GP multifocal lenses that are designed similarly to bifocal eyeglasses. The upper part of its lens has the distance power while the bottom part contains the near power. When you look straight ahead or at a distance, your eye is looking through the part of the lens that has the distance power. On the contrary, if you look down, your lower lid holds the lens in place while your pupil moves or translates into the part of the lens that has the near power for reading.

  • A lot of people who prefer to use multifocal contact lenses are often happy with them. But some compromises may become a necessity when wearing this type of lenses. For instance, your distance vision may not be that clear when using multifocal contact lenses and it may sometimes be difficult for you to see or even simply glare on things at night or may also find it challenging to read really small prints.

    Share this post

    ← Older Post