Multifocal contact lenses are contact lenses with multiple prescriptions all in one lens. There is typically a prescription for very close objects, one prescription for normal objects viewed at a distance, and then prescriptions for intermediate distances. This setup helps people with presbyopia correct age-related vision problems where the eye can no longer focus on objects up close.
There are two main types of multifocal contact lens designs. The most common is a set of concentric circles of lens powers prescribed for various viewing distances. There are also blended designs, which keep both the near and distance prescriptions close to the centre of your eye, and mimic a natural viewing experience by correcting the specific points of aberration in your eyes.
Advantages to multifocals
Multifocals offer a range of benefits, among them:
- Better vision for the range of distances from near to far
- A less abrupt switch between prescriptions
- The ability to see in most conditions without extra eyewear
Drawbacks to multifocals
Multifocal contact lenses may also be:
- More difficult to adjust to due to a different viewing experience
- Accompanied by nighttime glare and hazy or shadowy vision during the adjustment period
- More expensive because of the increased complexity in design