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  • Scope Optometry

How Do Multifocal Contact Lenses and Glasses Work?

Multifocal contact lenses are made in such a way that allows them to utilize different lens powers which target vision at different distances from the individual wearing them. But how do they work, and is it a good option for your eyesight? In this article, we explore multifocal contact lenses and glasses to give you a sense of how they work. What Are Multifocal Contact Lenses? They are simply contact lenses with many prescriptions incorporated into one lens. Usually, there is a prescription for objects that are very close, objects that are some distance away, and finally, objects at intermediate distances. This design of contact lenses helps people with presbyopia cope with age-related vision problems, which causes their eyes to lack focus when viewing objects that are up close. Types of Multifocal Contact Lenses There are three main types of multifocal contact lenses:

  • Concentric multifocal lenses. This type incorporates concentric circles on the lens, albeit with a regular transition in between the transitions. The rings on concentric multifocal lenses alternate distances distance and close corrections in a similar way to a bull's eye pattern.

  • Aspheric multifocal lenses. They are made in a similar way to progressive eyeglass lenses, and they give the wearer a transition that is blended amongst a variety of prescriptions. At the center sits the near prescription, and it gradually changes as you go outwards, with no conspicuous lines in the lenses.

  • Segmented bifocal lenses. This type of lens is only available as rigid gas permeable lenses. They are very similar in terms of appearance to bifocal glass lenses, but the distance prescription is placed in the upper half of the lens, and the near prescription is located on the lower half. The bottom part of the lens is flattened to ensure that it stays in place when worn. The segmented bifocal lenses are highly customized to suit each wearer, meaning that they need to be bought directly from your eye care provider.

Pros of Multifocal Contact Lenses

  • They reduce dependency on glasses. When people's eyesight begins to fade once they hit 40, they may need to obtain different pairs of prescription glasses to focus effectively at many distances. This may be quite frustrating to many patients as they cannot adapt easily and find adapting their vision for recreational and occupational reasons challenging. Multifocal contact lenses may provide a more convenient solution to all these problems as they include many prescriptions in one pair of lenses.

  • Improved vision across a range of distances. Multifocal contact lenses contain many zones to cater to different types of vision, according to The American Academy of Ophthalmology. The lenses have concentric rings of various prescriptions and can therefore adjust to match the wearer's eyes, giving them focused vision at different distances.

Cons of Multifocal Contact Lenses

  • The possible continuing need to use reading glasses. In some cases, your vision may be less sharp as a result of using multifocal contact lenses. This may be due to optical limitations as different brands of multifocal lenses offer better vision at close distances than others. It is very different for the lenses to offer perfect vision across all distances. For this reason, a variety of users end up obtaining over-the-counter reading glasses when they want to read the very fine print.

  • Multifocal contact lenses are not available universally. For some conditions such as cataracts, severe dry eye, or abnormally high astigmatism, the use of multifocal contact lenses may not be the most applicable method to improve their eyesight.

Multifocal Glasses Multifocal glasses are also known as progressive glasses. They are a type of glasses that are made up of different prescriptions within each pair. It helps the wearer see objects that are far as well as those that are near. For individuals who have developed presbyopia, it also comes with reading power which is particularly useful since the condition makes it difficult for you to see small words. How Do Multifocal Glasses Work? They work by providing multiple points of focus. To view objects at different distances, you need the required power or prescription. Multifocal glasses provide different points of focus by using different prescriptions. In many cases, the top part of the glasses allows you to see objects at far distances; the middle part allows you to see intermittent objects, while the bottom part enables you to read the fine print or see objects at close distances. Every pair of multifocal glasses is different as they are tailor-made to suit the needs of each wearer. Pros of Multifocal Glasses

  • You will not need to change from one pair of glasses to another as the glasses provide all-in-one vision prescriptions.

  • They are more convenient as you will be able to choose a stylish pair of multifocal glasses and not need to change them as you transition from one activity to another.

Cons of Multifocal Glasses

  • Curve distortion may occur as the bottom part of the lens is for reading, so when doing other activities like climbing a flight of stairs, they may appear like they are skipping a step.

  • There is an initial restricted head movement, and this may necessitate you to learn the exact points of focus for the different distances of vision.

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