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Multifocal vs Bifocal Contacts

When it comes to your vision correction prescription, your eye doctor may give you a specific type of lens made to correct your specific condition. Contact lenses come in many different types, and bifocal multifocal contacts are some of the most common options. Each style of contact performs a different function to help correct your vision. Read on to learn more about bifocal and multifocal contact lenses so you can understand how they help to correct your eyesight.

Multifocal and Bifocal Contacts: What's the Difference?

Multifocal contacts have various zones in the lenses that can smooth out the transition between various distances. These contacts make it easier for your eyes to adapt depending on the amount of light, the distance of objects, and other factors. Bifocal contacts are very similar to bifocal eyeglasses. These lenses have two zones on the lens, and each one has a different prescription strength. The two prescriptions will help you experience crisp vision when you look near or far while reading, watching television, or driving.

How These Contacts Can Help

Your eye doctor will prescribe either bifocal or multifocal contacts depending on your specific condition. Vision correction can be needed at any age, or you may be experiencing a condition called presbyopia, which causes blurriness as you age. The level of blurriness you experience can be corrected by prescribing contacts that work for your eyes depending on the degree of correction you need and the angles at different distances. A one-size-fits-all prescription may not be as effective as a multifocal lens in most cases.

How Multifocal and Bifocal Contacts Work to Help Your Vision

Both multifocal and bifocal contact lenses bring two or more different lenses together to help correct your eyesight. Segmented contacts are similar to eyeglasses and have a line across the lens which divides it into sections. Most segmented contacts are divided into two sections, which means they are considered bifocal contacts. Each section can help correct your eyesight for certain distances that are near, far, or in-between.

Contacts that are "simultaneous vision" radiate outward in a circular pattern from the center of your lens. You can think of these contacts like ripples in the water, and the center of the lens is usually made to correct vision at one distance. As you look closer to the edge of the lens, you can begin to see more clearly for near vision. Simultaneous vision contacts can either be concentric or aspheric. These lenses may require some time to get used to, but they can be very effective for vision correction. Concentric lenses feature defined rings for near or far vision that is built into the lens. For aspheric lenses, they gradually transition from one prescription strength to another as your eyes move across the contact lens.

Correcting Your Eyesight with Contacts

You can find multifocal and bifocal contacts in several varieties including dailies, weeklies, and monthlies. Both styles of contacts are available in all three varieties to suit your needs. There are several common conditions of the eye that can benefit from contact lenses. If you have myopia or nearsightedness, your eyes are a bit too long which makes it more difficult to see objects at a distance, but close objects are clear. With hyperopia or farsightedness, your eyeball is too short and can struggle to see items that are closeup. Objects in the distance are clear. A condition called presbyopia occurs as you age and your lenses are less flexible so closeup objects are difficult to see. Whichever condition you have, talk to your eye doctor about multifocal and bifocal contacts to help improve your vision.


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The material provided on this site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical or optometric advice. The information provided is not intended for the diagnosis of medical condition and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified health provider.

Please make sure you get your eyes examined regularly and always follow your eye care professional's instructions for the proper use and care of your contact lenses. It's important to note that if you experience any pain or discomfort from your contact lens, discontinue use immediately and consult your eye care professional. WARNING: IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY UNEXPLAINED EYE DISCOMFORT, WATERING, VISION CHANGE, REDNESS, OR LIGHT SENSITIVITY, REMOVE YOUR LENSES IMMEDIATELY AND CONSULT YOUR EYE CARE PRACTITIONER BEFORE WEARING YOUR LENSES AGAIN.

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