How bifocal contact lenses work

Bifocal contact lenses are a great all-in-one option for anyone who struggles to focus on objects close to them and those further away. Allowing you to see clearly at multiple distances, bifocal contact lenses are discreet and convenient. They are often chosen by people who have worn contacts for distance but now find their near vision has worsened. What to know how bifocal contact lenses work exactly? Read on to find out.

How bifocal contact lenses work

Bifocal contact lenses generally have two prescriptions in the same lens. The two ‘powers’ are used to correct myopia (short-sightedness) and hypermetropia (long-sightedness). Different types of bifocal contact lenses work in different ways. The two most common types are:

How you use each type of bifocal contact lens also differs between each one. With segmented bifocal contacts, you look through each section of the lens as your eye moves up and down. With simultaneous bifocal contact lenses, you look through each power at the same time and objects that are near and far can be in focus at the same time. Your brain adjusts to the visual information it receives to form an image of objects at different distances. Simultaneous bifocal contact lenses either have a sharp distinction between the two concentric rings or a gradual transition (‘asymmetric’ lenses).

A contact lense next to a pair of glasses
A contact lens

Who would benefit from bifocal contact lenses?

As we age, our eyesight changes. Presbyopia is an age-related vision condition that eventually affects everyone to some degree and begins during middle age. By 40 to 45 years of age, many people need both glasses for reading and for seeing things clearly at a distance. However, bifocal contact lenses are suitable for people of all ages who need vision correction for short and long-sightedness.

Many people find that bifocal contact lenses are ideal for them, whether they have worn contacts previously or not. Aside from all the benefits of regular contact lenses, bifocal contacts have other advantages. Bifocal contact lenses offer a sharp, natural vision for varying distances and avoid the need to switch between different types of glasses or contact lenses. Wearers of bifocal contact lenses often tend to find a greater all-round vision than wearing glasses, better peripheral vision and don’t have to tilt their head when using a computer.

Find out more about bifocal contact lenses

Now you know how bifocal contact lenses work, it’s important to understand that bifocal contact lenses are not suitable for everyone with more than one eye prescription. For example, some people have difficulty with the adjustment between near and far vision with a lens in their eye. You might even find that wearing reading glasses while wearing standard contact lenses is an option.

Everyone’s situation is unique, so a consultation with an ophthalmologist will consider a wide range of factors including your eye health and lifestyle to determine if bifocal contact lenses will be a good fit for you. Also, if you need several powers for clear vision, multifocal contact lenses are available.

If you’re due an eye test in the Cardigan area or if you’ve noticed a change in your vision of late, then book in for an appointment at our opticians in Narberth or Cardigan. Our friendly experts can then talk you through what options you have.