How Do Multifocal and Bifocal Contact Lenses Work?

Today’s advanced technologies in contact lenses allow people with presbyopia to enjoy clear sight at all distances without needing glasses. If you require a reading prescription with your distance correction (if any), multifocal and bifocal contact lenses would be the perfect option for you!

What is presbyopia?

People over the age of 40 will start to notice their near vision get blurry and they’ll find it difficult to focus on things up close. This occurrence is called presbyopia and it happens naturally and gradually as you get older.

Presbyopia is also known as “short arm syndrome” because you’ll find yourself needing to stretch your arm out to see small print or other fine details more clearly.

What causes it?

As you age, the elasticity of the lens inside each eye is gradually lost which causes the lens to harden. As a result, your eyes lose their ability to focus on nearby objects because light is now being focused behind the retina rather than on top of it.

How do contact lenses for presbyopia work?

Multifocal and bifocal contact lenses help to correct presbyopia by providing vision correction for both distance and near vision. These contacts accommodate multiple prescriptions on a single lens to help you see clearly at a range of distances.

Bifocal contacts contain two different focal points for your distance and reading prescriptions, while multifocal contacts contain three focal points for distance, intermediate and reading correction.

Types of multifocal contact lenses

There are three common types of multifocal lenses:

Concentric multifocal lenses

Concentric multifocal lenses incorporate concentric circles on the lens with a gradual transition between prescriptions. The rings alternate distance and near corrections, similar to a bull’s eye pattern.


Aspheric multifocal lenses

Aspheric contact lenses are constructed like progressive eyeglasses lenses and provide a blended transition between the multiple prescriptions. The distance or near prescription is located in the center and gradually changes as you move outwards, with no visible lines in the lenses.


Segmented bifocal lenses

Bifocal contact lenses are only available as rigid gas permeable lenses. These contacts resemble bifocal glasses lenses; the distance prescription is located in the upper half of the lens and the near prescription is on the lower half. The bottom of the lens is flattened to keep it in place on the eye. They are highly customized for each wearer, which is why they need to be purchased directly from your eye care professional.

How do I know if my prescription is for one of these types of lenses?

All contact lenses fit differently and are made of different materials. If you are trying lenses that haven’t been prescribed, discomfort or infection could occur, so it is important to have a valid contact lens prescription to ensure that you’re purchasing products suited for your eyes.

If you need help understanding your prescription or determining if your prescription is for contact lenses, call us today and we’d be happy to help.


Ordering multifocal contact lenses at Mahdi Opticals

Once you have your up-to-date contact lens prescription and you’re ready to place your order, visit our store or give us a call and we’ll guide you through our extensive list of Multifocal and Bifocal Contact Lenses.