I have seen a huge increase in the requests for multifocal contact lenses in my practice over the past year. Multifocals are a great option for our over 40 presbyopes looking to maintain quality near vision without lugging around reading glasses. Before making the switch to multifocal contacts there are a few key pieces of information to take into account and some general concepts to be educated on.
Lets first start with lens designs. We primarily have 3 lens designs seen in your standard optometric office. The first lens design is a concentric multifocal.This type of lens has concentric rings of power for both near and distance. We consider this to be simultaneous vision as both eyes see near and far at the same time and are generally able to piece together a usable image for both distance an near at the same time. The second multifocal lens design is an aspheric design, these lenses are set to be either a near or distance lens and take into account your dominant eye. We always put the near lens over the dominant eye. The near power is highest either in the center or periphery of the lens depending on the distance it is meant to focus at. The third design is called a translating multifocal designand only available in a rigid gas permeable design. This lens actually moves up and down and allows you to look through a near of distance portion of the lens independently, giving you clearer vision than simultaneous vision designs. Good for those with astigmatism or those who need even sharper vision.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from wearers is that they don’t find their vision to be crisp. This is generally true with mutlfocal simultaneous vision lenses. The more near power you put into a lens the worse your distance vision will be and visa-versa. The key is finding the correct amount of power that allows you to have acceptable near and distance vision and complete 90% of the tasks you do daily without reading glasses. We aim for “20/HAPPY” as the specific line on the chart doesn’t matter – what matters is you feel comfortable and confident walking around without needing glasses to enjoy a night out, a game of golf, or anything else that may be best enjoyed without glasses.
Stop by any time to schedule you’re in downtown Phoenix to schedule your multifocal contact lens fitting! We keep a plethora of Coopervision multifocal products on hand. As always, feel free to contact us with any questions – we love hearing from our neighbors!