Guide to Multifocal Contact Lenses

As we age, our eyes have trouble focusing on things close up. This condition is called Presbyopia, and many people resort to wearing reading glasses from the drug store to correct it.

Thankfully, over the last few years several multifocal contact lenses have entered the market. These contacts are designed to focus on both near and far objects at the same time, making your reading glasses a thing of the past!

How do Multifocal Contact Lenses Work?

Multifocal contact lenses can feel like magic when you wear them, but they are actually pretty straightforward. There are two main kinds of multifocal contacts: concentric and aspheric.

Concentric multifocal contacts are made up of concentric circles of near and far distance (hence the name).

Aspheric multifocal contact lenses are near distance in the center, with a gradual transition to distance at the edges.

Both of these are different from traditional bi-focal lenses, which feature a harsh break between distance and near. You can see a comparison image here:

Multifocal lens designs

Which Multifocal Contact Lens is Right for Me?

Short answer: it depends. Everyone’s eyes are different, so you need to visit an eye doctor to figure out the best lens for you. Your eye doctor will consider factors like your lifestyle to make the decision.

Your eye doctor will also put trials on your eyes to make sure the lenses fit properly. A misfitting contact lens can lead to some serious health complications, so don’t skip the eye doctor!

To help prepare for your visit to the eye doctor, here are some questions you should consider:

  • Do you want a daily, weekly, or monthly multifocal contact lens? Dailies are the healthiest and easiest, but they can be more expensive. Monthlies are the cheapest, but you have to worry about cases and solutions.
  • Which brand has worked well for you in the past? Many popular lenses like Acuvue Oasys or Biofinity also come in multifocal versions. If you already wear one of those lenses, discuss the multifocal version with your eye doctor.
  • How bad is your presbyopia? Some multifocal contact lenses have a broad range, but others are more limited. Your doctor can recommend a brand that has the necessary range.
  • Do you have astigmatism? There are several new brands that can correct both presbyopia and astigmatism, but they are more expensive.
Multifocal Contact Lens Brands

What is the Best Multifocal Contact Lens?

While there’s no ‘one size fits all’ multifocal contact lens, there are several popular brands that sell well. The brands below are some of the top selling multifocal contact lenses. While that doesn’t guarantee one will work for you, these are a great place to start discussions with your eye doctor.

Acuvue Oasys Presbyopia

This is the top selling weekly multifocal contact lenses. It is an adaptation of the best selling Acuvue Oasys lens. If you are already wearing the Acuvue Oasys lens, then this is a great place to start.

Biofinity Multifocal

Biofinity’s regular lens is the top selling monthly lens on the market, so their multifocal version is a great option for those who prefer monthly lenses. This multifocal contact lens actually has different versions for distance and near. Your doctor will help you determine which of your eyes should be distance and near.

Dailies Total1 Multifocal

Although it is a pricy option, this daily disposable multifocal contact lens is one of the most popular daily lenses right now. It has the highest oxygen permeability of any daily multifocal contact lens, ensuring your eyes stay moist all day long. And like other daily lenses, there’s no need to deal with cases and solutions.

Other Multifocal Contact Lenses

If one of the top selling options above doesn’t work for you, here are some other options you can discuss with your eye doctor. Remember, multifocal contact lenses can take some adjustment period, so be sure to give each brand enough trial time.

What about Multifocal Contact Lenses for Astigmatism?

If you have an astigmatism and want multifocal contacts, you’ll love the new lenses that have hit the market recently. These custom lenses are made specifically for your individual eyes, so you won’t find a lens with better vision than these.

However, you should know that these are all custom lenses that can take as long as 6 weeks to make. Since they are custom made according to your prescription, no doctor or store will have your prescription in stock. The lenses literally need to be made for you, which does take time.

If that’s a trade off you are okay with, then you should check out our indepth guide on Multifocal Toric Contacts to find the best option for you.

In the meantime, here are the three available brands on the market:

What is Monovision for Contact Lenses?

Monovision is when your doctor prescribes one eye for distance vision and the other eye for near vision. In this scenario, you would wear a regular spherical contact lens in each eye. Your brain will actually learn to use the one eye for close up and the other for far away.

Monovision is good for people who couldn’t adapt well to multifocal contacts. If multifocal contacts are out of your budget, you should discuss monovision with your doctor since it is usually cheaper.

How to Save Money on Multifocal Contacts

Multifocal contacts are usually on the pricier side, so every penny counts! Here are a few ways you can save money on your multifocal lenses:

At the end of the day, you will need to work with your eye doctor to find the lens that works best for you. You’ll want to consider price, comfort, and lifestyle to find the perfect multifocal contact lens. And once you find that perfect contact, you’ll be able to put away your reading glasses for good 🙂

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