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We are conveniently located in the South Park Center (the former AT&T/ Transamerica Center)

We are conveniently located in the South Park Center
(the former AT&T/ Transamerica Center)

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We are conveniently located in the South Park Center (the former AT&T/ Transamerica Center)
Call 213-749-3461 to schedule an eye exam
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Home » Eyeglasses & Contacts » Contact Lenses » Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses

Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses

If you are over 40 and have difficulty seeing close up, you probably have a common age-related condition called presbyopia which is when the eye’s natural lens loses the ability to focus on close objects. Presbyopia is a natural process as the eye ages and affects the majority of people from age 40 and upward. Individuals with presbyopia are often familiar with the need to hold reading materials such as newspapers an arm’s length away from their eyes in order to see clearly, yet reading glasses with bifocal or multifocal (progressive) lenses can help.

Fortunately for those who don’t like the look, feel or inconvenience of reading glasses, there is another option. Bifocal and multifocal lenses are also available in contact lenses in both soft and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) varieties.

Multifocal contact lenses give you added freedom over glasses and they allow you to be able to view any direction – up, down and to the sides – with similar vision. People wearing progressive lenses in glasses on the other hand have to look over their glasses if they want to view upwards or into the distance.

The Difference Between Bifocal and Multifocal Lenses

Just as the name indicates, bifocal lenses are divided into two distinct segments for different vision powers, the first for distance vision and the second for near vision. This enables you to clearly switch your focus from near to far as needed, but your vision will not necessarily be clear in between. The term multifocal lenses can refer to any lenses with multiple powers including bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses. Non-bifocal multifocal lenses have a range of powers that enable you to constantly adjust your focus to see clearly from up close to far and in between.

Multifocal contact lenses are generally designed in one of two ways, as either simultaneous vision lenses or alternating vision lenses.

Simultaneous vision lenses

The most popular version of multifocal contact lenses, simultaneous vision lenses present the distance and near vision zones of the lens at the same time. Typically after a short adjustment period your eyes learn to utilize the segment of the lens that they need to focus on the desired object and essentially ignore the other.

They come in two designs:

  • Concentric ring design: In the most basic form these are bifocal lenses that are comprised of a central circular area of one power with a ring around of the alternate power, similar to a bulls-eye. In this design the power of the rings (either near or distance vision is interchangeable). For intermediate viewing (18-24 inches away) extra rings can be added to create a trifocal or multifocal lens. The width of each ring is variable depending on the power that is needed most and the edges of the rings can be blended for a smooth transition of focus, similar to progressive eyeglass lenses.
  • Aspheric design: These multifocal lenses attempt to provide a natural vision experience by blending many lens powers across the surface and center of the lens. In this design both distance and near vision power are located in the central visual area and your eyes will adapt to focus on the area needed to view what you are looking at.

Translating or Alternating Vision lenses

Similar to bifocal eyeglass lenses, these contacts are divided into distinct areas or zones and your pupil will move to the desired zone depending on your vision needs. Typically the top of the lens, which is what you look through when looking straight ahead is for distance vision and the bottom area (what you look through when you look down) is for near vision. However, this can be reversed according to unique vision needs.

Since contact lenses sometimes move within your eye, translating lenses are held in place by a ballast which is an area that is thicker than the rest of the lens or by truncating or flattening the bottom to stay in line by the lower lid. These lenses are only available in rigid gas permeable lens material.

An Alternative Option to Multifocal Contact Lenses: Monovision

Monovision is another contact lens alternative for presbyopia particularly if you are having

difficulty adapting to multifocal lenses. Monovision splits your distance and near vision between your eyes, using your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant eye for near vision.

Typically you will use single vision lenses in each eye however sometimes the dominant eye will use a single vision lens while a multifocal lens will be used in the other eye for intermediate and near vision. This is called modified monovision. Your eye doctor will perform a test to determine which type of lens is best suited for each eye and optimal vision.

Are Contact Lenses Right for You?

If you have presbyopia, contact lenses may be a great option for you. Many people prefer the

look and convenience of contact lenses over traditional reading glasses. Speak to your eye

doctor about the options available to you.

COVID-19 (coronavirus)

As the facts and situation around COVID-19 (coronavirus) continue to evolve, and in compliance with the recommendations by the CDC, our practice is suspending non-essential or non-urgent eye care effective immediately until further notice.

We believe by taking these extraordinary precautions along with other health care facilities, collectively we can make a difference in helping control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We recognize the gravity of these extreme measures and remain sensitive to your eye care priorities.

We will be available by phone, voicemail, text and email on a limited basis.We understand that some of you may have eyeglass and/or contact lens orders to pick up.  We will be able to ship these orders to you at your request.

We encourage you to wear your eyeglasses as much as possible especially if your contact lens supply is running low or if you are in need of contact lenses you may visit our online store at http://www.yourlens.com/ceciliaperezod to place an order.  As a courtesy to our loyal patients, we will extend contact lens prescription for 2 months and ship them to you at no charge. In the meantime, please do not over wear your contact lenses for your own safety. Lately there has been misleading information in the press, regarding the use of contact lenses during the COVID-19 spread.  The American Academy of Optometry released this statement regarding contact lens wear: To prevent contact lens infections of all kinds: bacterial, viral, and fungal, contact lens wearers must:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly, at least 20 seconds, with soap and water, and dry hands completely.
  2. Use daily disposable contact lenses if possible.
  3. If solutions are required, use them appropriately. Specifically, do not re-use solutions.
  4. Replace cases monthly or more frequently. Rinse, wipe, and air dry contact lens cases every day.
  5. Do not wear contact lenses when you are ill.

If you have a medical eye emergency ​please call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care facility.Thank you for your trust and understanding during these challenging times.  We always appreciate your loyalty and support!

Stay safe and healthy.

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We will be available by phone, text and email on a limited basis.

Email: cperezoptometry@yahoo.com

Call and text: (213)749-3461

From March 20th through March 30th or until further notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you.

Need contacts? please visit our online web store:

http://www.yourlens.com/ceciliaperezod