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Multifocal contact lenses are a growing market as the ‘baby boomers’ reach the need for a reading correction (presbyopia).
Soft multifocal lenses, on the whole don’t work in the same way varifocal spectacles do.
Varifocal spectacles have dedicated zones built into the lens that your eyes move into, to give a specific focus for specific visual requirements. Hence, if you want to see clearly for distance. You normally chose the distance focus part of the spectacle lens.
Varifocal spectacles give patients a very high degree of success when adapted. However, the can give some users areas of indistinct vision in peripheral areas of the lens. This may manifest itself as areas of unclear vision, or may even give ‘swim and sway’ effects.
Multifocal contact lenses correct vision for distance, intermediate and close by supplying the eye with all the visual information for these separate distances at once. This is called simultaneous design multifocal. The eye/ brain simply decides upon whichever image gives best focus for each situation.
Simultaneous design lenses hence don’t need the eyes to ’search’ the lens surfaceIrrespective of the eye’s gaze position, the effect will be the same.
Their simultaneous design means that there is no ‘swim and sway’ to contend with. However, the overlapping distance and reading visions the eye receives may take slightly the best acuity off distance and reading sight.This is of course is not the case with everyone.
Many of our patients do find them a much versatile alternative to spectacle varifocals.