Multifocal contact lenses are a type of vision correction device that provides a clear vision for multiple distances, eliminating the need for wearing separate glasses for near and distant vision. These lenses are specifically designed to address presbyopia, a common age-related condition that affects the eye’s ability to focus on nearby objects.
Presbyopia occurs due to the natural ageing process, causing the lens of the eye to become less flexible and making it difficult to focus on objects up close. Multifocal contact lenses use a combination of optics to provide clear vision at different distances, allowing individuals with presbyopia to see clearly at various focal points.
There are generally two types of multifocal contact lenses: simultaneous vision lenses and segmented lenses.
1. Simultaneous Vision Lenses
Simultaneous vision lenses, also known as concentric rings or aspheric designs, are the most common type of multifocal contact lenses. These lenses have different zones that allow light to simultaneously enter the eye and focus on various distances. The centre of the lens typically provides distance vision, while the surrounding areas or concentric rings are responsible for near or intermediate vision.
This design relies on the brain’s ability to select the clearest image from the different focal points, depending on the distance of the object being viewed. With simultaneous vision lenses, the brain naturally adjusts and adapts to the varying focus points, allowing for clear vision at multiple distances.
2. Segmented Lenses
Segmented multifocal contact lenses are also known as translating or alternating vision lenses. They use distinct zones for near and distance vision. Usually, the lens is split into two or more parts. The top part is used for seeing things that are far away, while the bottom part is used for seeing things that are close. These sections can be designed as concentric rings or have a distinct boundary separating the zones.
When wearing segmented lenses, the eye naturally moves slightly upward or downward to align the desired vision zone with the centre of the lens. This movement allows the wearer to switch between near and distant vision by looking through different sections of the lens.
Designing multifocal contact lenses involves a combination of optics, including diffractive, refractive, or a hybrid design. Diffractive lenses utilize tiny grooves or patterns on their surface to redirect light, while refractive lenses depend on varying lens powers to focus light at varying distances. Hybrid lenses combine both diffractive and refractive principles.
The fitting process for multifocal contact lenses involves the following:
- Assessing the patient’s visual needs.
- Measuring the curvature of the eye’s surface.
- Considering pupil size.
The question is how often do you change your contact lenses? Then you can contact your professional opthalmologists to understand. Optometrists or ophthalmologists use specialized instruments to determine the appropriate lens power and design to provide clear vision at multiple distances.
It is important to note that adapting to multifocal contact lenses may take some time, as the brain needs to adjust to simultaneous or segmented vision. Patients may initially experience a slight reduction in contrast sensitivity or mild visual disturbances. After consistent usage and appropriate adjustment, many people discover that multifocal contact lenses are a practical and useful option for treating presbyopia.
Multifocal contact lenses use a combination of optical designs to provide clear vision at multiple distances, allowing individuals with presbyopia to see clearly without the need for separate glasses.
These lenses can employ simultaneous vision or segmented designs, and they rely on the brain’s ability to select the clearest image from different focal points. With advancements in lens technology and proper fitting, multifocal contact lenses offer an excellent option for those seeking vision correction at different distances.