Bifocal and Progressive Contact Lenses
Bifocal Contact Lenses are the contact lens equivalent to bifocal glasses, which most believe were invented by Benjamin Franklin in the early 1800’s. Bifocal and progressive lens styles are designed to improve vision for people who suffer from presbyopia, which affects nearly every adult over the age of 40, and is typically a result of decreased elasticity of the optic muscles. The result of presbyopia is enhanced difficulty focusing on close-range objects, while similarly needing to enhance distance viewing. Bifocal, multifocal, and progressive lens types were created to improve people’s vision for both close-range or distance viewing applications.
How do Bifocal, Multifocal, and Progressive Contact Lenses Work?
Traditionally, bifocal glasses & contacts feature two distinct lens powers separated by a boundary. The separate lens powers work by allowing one to use the top part of the lens for distance viewing, and the bottom part of the lens for reading & short range vision. Multifocal and progressive contacts work based on a similar principle, but use more than two powers in a lens to give the wearer more natural eyesight.
While the traditional style of bifocal lens is still popular, progressive lens types which use a gradient to form different curvatures for distance & short sighted viewing have become the most popular style for contact lens wear. While a gradient lens curvature may seem strange to one who doesn’t wear progressive contact lenses, the eyes actually adjust to the lens’s distorted curvature and give you a highly natural range of vision for all distances.
Mono Vision Technique
Another technique that is used to solve presbyopia with contacts is what’s known as the mono vision technique. This technique avoids using bifocal lenses, and instead uses two separate contacts in each eye, separating one contact for close-range vision, and the other contact for long range vision. Some eye doctors may even prescribe a single eye to use a bifocal lens, in what’s known as modified mono vision.
As with everything, the best way to find your bifocal solution is to contact your doctor and set up an eye appointment. Bifocal & Multifocal contacts can be bought online like all other lens types with a prescription from your doctor.
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