Jan 17th 2023

Multifocal vs Bifocal Contact Lenses

Multifocal vs Bifocal Contact Lenses

Each style of contact performs a different function to help correct your vision. Read on to learn more about bifocal and multifocal contact lenses.

For people with vision issues, contact lenses seem to be a very popular option. However, some of these vision issues can overlap or be more complex than others, resulting in patients receiving multiple prescriptions for vision correction. Those people then feel pressured into buying glasses to fill these multiple prescriptions, thinking that contacts can only accommodate one prescription at a time. However, many people may not have heard about bifocal and multifocal contact lenses.

Despite contacts being invented decades ago, vision correction providers, big and small, still use the basic concept initially presented to make bifocal and multifocal contact lenses. Still, there have been quite a few updates and changes made since then as technology evolves and we continuously learn about the human eye. That’s why there are more options for contacts now than ever before, which some people may not realize if they haven’t kept up with recent advances.

What’s the Difference Between Bifocal Contact Lenses and Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Redheaded woman leaning forwards glancing upwards with curious inquisitive stare

Bifocal contact lenses were invented in London in 1957, the first simultaneous vision lenses that were free from the issue of rotation. Multifocal lenses, though possibly inspired by this design, were not invented until two years later by Bernard Maitenaz, a Frenchman. However, both of these inventions were revolutionary in their time and would change the world of vision correction forever.

Despite what some people might think, these contact lenses are not the same. They have a few similarities, but they have just as many differences. They do, however, share the same basic purpose: helping improve the vision of people with more than one contact prescription. They both work by essentially having parts (usually rings) of the contact lens crafted to see better at a certain distance that differs from the other part or parts of the contact lens.

There are a couple of excellent brands of contacts available for people that do need multifocal and/or bifocal contact lenses. Most brands even have their own selection of them to choose from for people with differing needs. One of these is Dailies 90-day Total-1 disposable multifocal contact lenses, or their AquaComfort Plus variant, both of which offer UVA and UVB protection.

How These Contacts Can Help

If you, like many other people with vision impairments, find that you’re still suffering from vision problems despite the fact that your current prescription is valid, you should see your eye doctor immediately. Chances are, you need another prescription to use alongside your current one, and will need bifocal or multifocal lenses. Don’t worry, though, because this is fairly common (especially if you’ve been around for a while). You may think this means you’ll need to switch from contacts to eyeglasses, but that’s not the case. You have plenty of options that will allow you to wear contacts even with multiple prescriptions.

There are many options when considering multifocal or bifocal contact lenses (depending on your prescriptions and how many you have). They are offered by most contact lens providers, and even come in a few different varieties, offering dry-eye support, UV protection, monthly, and daily options.

So, while bifocal contact lenses are mostly for people who need two different forms of distance vision correction, multifocal lenses can have a wider range of uses. They can just be used for people that need several distance vision prescriptions, and they have different focal points for distance, intermediate, and reading.

How Multifocal and Bifocal Contact Lenses Work to Help your Vision

Fingers framing clear portion of image of green field with setting sun

We’ve touched on it previously, but what do these contact lenses actually do that can help? Well, the best way to answer that would be to look at them both individually. They consist of two concentric rings. The outer ring is usually designated for the prescription for shorter distances, while the inner ring is usually to help see things that are further away.

Multifocal contacts work in a similar way, though they don’t always consist of concentric rings. They are an all-in-one lens for people with presbyopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), or some other similar vision ailment. Typically they are prescribed by an eye doctor to elderly patients who already had presbyopia and are now losing the ability to see things up close due to age. While bifocal contact lenses can also help with this if you only have two prescriptions, chances are you’ll have more than that or end up with more over time.

Correcting your Vision with Contacts

Eyeglasses have been around for what seems like forever, and it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone wearing them. Their popularity ebbs and flows as society’s fashion standards change. Even when they are considered to be stylish, the kinds of frames that are considered fashionable are always changing. If you’re like many other people, you may not be able to afford constantly buying new frames to keep up with the current trends. Additionally, some work or living environments make it so that some people aren’t able to safely wear eyeglasses.

These reasons and many others can factor into why people choose to wear contacts instead of glasses. Another advantage that contact lenses have over eyeglasses is that they’re a lot harder to damage. You can’t scratch contact lenses or chip the lens, and you don’t have to worry about bending or damaging the frame, either. Still, if you do happen to damage them, they are far easier to replace than eyeglasses are. The choice is ultimately yours, but we highly recommend that you consider giving contacts a try.

Final Thoughts

Getting proper protection and care for your eyes is vital. That’s why it’s important to know all of the options available to you. If you, like many others across the world, have multiple prescriptions, then you may feel like your options are far more limited than they are for people with one prescription. They don’t have to be, though. You, too, can have a choice between eyeglasses and your preferred style of contacts.

There are many providers, brands, and styles to choose from. If you’re looking for a place to get high-quality, low-price multifocal or bifocal contact lenses, you should definitely take a quick look at WebEyeCare.com. We have dozens of big brands we work with, and our goal is to make sure that you have the widest selection to choose from, so you’ll never be disappointed in your eyewear.

Nick Zelver
Nick Zelver

Nick Zelver is the Editor at WebEyeCare. With a professional journey beginning at Optimax Eyewear in Tel Aviv, Nick excelled as the Director of Online Sales Channels, where he spearheaded the development of strategic sales channels and branding initiatives, fostering significant growth in online sales. His notable achievements in the field are underpinned by a rigorous academic foundation, having earned an entrance scholarship to Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).

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