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Multifocal Contact Lenses – From our Esteemed Contact Lens Technician, Ashley

If you are over 40 years old, you may have noticed your near/reading vision starting to change. It may become increasingly difficult to read without bright light or you may run into the problem where your “arms aren’t long enough!” Everyday we see many patients who have had “better than 20/15 vision” most of their lives start to struggle with their near vision. This is when our patients will buy over the counter reading glasses to use as needed. They start to use them more and more until they have a pair in every single room of their house, car, purse, and at work. Many of our patients get very frustrated with putting them on to read something and then taking them off for distance.

Now there is a solution to this: multi-focal contact lenses. Multi-focal contact lenses offer the best of both worlds, the ability to see near and far and reducing the need for reading glasses 80% of the time. Many of our patients who are successful in these lenses don’t even require distance correction. It can work equally well for those with or without a need for correction far away.

The process of fitting a multi-focal lens usually requires 1-3 visits. The first visit is your annual exam. At that time, we check your prescription and your eye health. From your prescription we can determine whether or not you would be a good candidate for multi-focal contact lenses. At that appointment we will give you some diagnostic lenses to try at home- and then this is where your work begins. Many lenses are a simultaneous image design. This means each lens has both distance and near vision portions in front of the pupil at the same time. This means your brain will select which image to use. This can take some time. You may notice some shadowing when you are reading while your brain and eyes adjust. We recommend wearing the lenses for 1-2 weeks straight to get your eyes adjusted. Then we will see you back for a contact lens progress evaluation.


The art of fitting multi-focal contact lenses is finding the most natural vision experience possible for you. To increase your chances of being successfully fit into theses contact lenses you need to go in with realistic expectations. The lenses usually do not have the same clarity as bi-focal eyeglass lenses or progressive lenses but they do give you the freedom to be able to comfortably see without the hassle of taking your readers on and off all day, wearing them half-way off your nose, or hanging around your neck.

If you have a moment, please take a second to visit the manufacturer who have spent a great deal of time and money creating these lenses for you. Some of our most successful lenses are Ciba’s Air Optix MultiFocal, Bausch & Lomb’s Pure Vision Multifocal, CooperVisions Biofinity Multifocal and Synergeyes’ Multifocal. We look forward to helping you see!