Multifocal Contact Lenses

Once we reach our mid-40s, presbyopia – the normal, age-related loss of flexibility of the lens inside our eye – makes it difficult for us to focus on near objects. In the past, reading glasses were the only option available to contact lens wearers who wanted to read a menu or do other everyday tasks that require good near vision.

But today, a number of multifocal contact lens options are available for you to consider. Multifocal contact lenses offer the best of both worlds: no glasses, along with good near and distance vision.

Types of multifocal contact lenses

Some multifocal contact lenses have a bifocal design with two distinct lens powers – one for your distance vision and one for near. Others have a multifocal design somewhat like progressive eyeglass lenses, with a gradual change in lens power for a natural visual transition from distance to close-up.

Multifocal contacts are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) lens materials and are designed for daily wear or extended (overnight) wear. Soft multifocal lenses can be comfortably worn on a part-time basis, so they’re great for weekends and other occasions if you prefer not to wear them on an all-day, every day schedule.

For the ultimate in convenience, one-day disposable soft multifocal lenses allow you to discard the lenses at the end of a single day of wear, so there’s no hassle with lens care.

In some cases, GP multifocal contact lenses provide sharper vision than soft multifocals. But because of their rigid nature, GP multifocal contacts require some adaptation and are more comfortable if you condition your eyes by wearing the lenses every day.

Hybrid multifocal contacts are an exciting new alternative. These lenses have a GP center and a soft periphery, making it easier to adapt.

Astigmatism? No problem.

All types of multifocal contact lenses – GP, soft, and hybrid – are available to correct astigmatism at the same time as presbyopia.


Until you have a contact lens fitting, there’s no way to know for sure if you’ll be able to successfully adapt to wearing multifocal contact lenses. If multifocal lenses aren’t comfortable or don’t give you adequate vision, a monovision contact lens fitting may be a good alternative.

Monovision uses your dominant eye for distance vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. Right-handed people tend to be right-eye dominant and left-handed folks left-eye dominant. But your eye care professional will perform testing to make that determination.

Usually, single vision contact lenses are used for monovision. One advantage here is that single vision lenses are less costly to replace, lowering your annual contact lens expenses. But in some cases, better results can be achieved using a single vision lens on the dominant eye for distance vision and a multifocal lens on the other eye for intermediate and near vision. Other times, your eyecare professional may choose a distance-biased multifocal on your dominant eye and a near-biased multifocal on the other eye. These techniques are referred to as “modified monovision” fits.

For more information on multifocal contact lenses, schedule an appointment with your nearest Performance Eyecare office!

There’s No Reason For Granny’s Readers! Wear Multifocal Contact Lenses Instead!


Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

You wake up in the morning, yawn and stretch, and finally head out to the kitchen to scrounge up a good breakfast. You grab your favorite cereal and, squinting through your glasses, hold back the cereal box so you can read the nutritional value through your bifocals.

After dishing out a good-sized bowl of your delicious cereal, you take it to the dining room table, grab the morning paper, and start to read it. Well… by read it, we mean that you have to squint and hold it away from you, not because of the newsprint’s pungent smell, but because you can’t see the feature story under the main headline.

If this is you and you’re sick of your reading glasses or simply tired of holding print materials far away from you so you can actually READ them, then do we have great news for you!

You can say good-bye to your granny readers and invest in multifocal contact lenses instead!

Multifocal contact lenses, which have a range of powers of seeing clearly far away, up close, and everywhere in between, are designed to help maintain and improve your vision when you reach your 40’s and beyond. Around this stage in life, everyone develops presbyopia, a condition which forces you to hold reading material farther away from your eyes so you may see it correctly.

There are two types of multifocal contact lenses that will help you maintain good vision – simultaneous vision lenses and alternating lenses.

Simultaneous vision lenses are the most popular type of multifocal contact lenses. With these lenses, both distance and near zones of the lens are in front of your pupil… at the same time! Sure, it sounds a bit unworkable, but after just a short period of time, your visual system learns to use the power you need and ignore the other lens powers. These lenses are typically soft lenses.

Alternating vision lenses, also called translating lenses, are designed like bifocal glasses lenses. The top part of the lens houses the distance power while the bottom part of the lens contains the near power. As you look straight ahead, your eye is looking through the distance part of the lens, and whenever you look down (like when you read the morning paper or your favorite novel), your pupils shift (translate) into the near zone of the lens.  These lenses are gas permeable lenses, which provide great optics with a slight compromise in comfort.

So now that you know what multifocal contact lenses are, the next question to ask yourself is, “Will these cool lenses work for me?”

In short, most people who try these lenses are quite satisfied them.   Our doctors can let you know if you are a good candidate at your annual eye examination.  And remember, we guarantee contact lens success at Performance Eyecare, so you have nothing to lose to give them a try.

 If you want to know more about multifocal contact lenses or would like to schedule an appointment, then pick up the phone at (618) 234-3053! Check us out at our website at to see what we can do for you! Contact us today so you can kiss your granny glasses good-bye tomorrow!