Over 150 million Americans rely on corrective lenses every day to see clearly. For many, a single prescription isn't enough due to problems seeing clearly up close and at a distance.
Progressive lenses can make a fantastic choice if you struggle to see clearly from both near and far — especially if you’re bothered by needing to wear different eyeglasses for various tasks. But what if you’d prefer to bypass glasses altogether? That’s where specialty contacts come in.
If you need progressive lenses and want similar perks from contacts, consider the following information.
Progressive lenses have different magnification levels, increasing seamlessly from top to bottom. As a result, they help you see clearly from near or far when you’re dealing with both myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia or presbyopia (farsightedness).
You look through the top of the lenses to see from a distance and through the bottom to clearly see objects close up.
Progressive lenses can also help address astigmatism, an eye shape issue that distorts images, when you need reading glasses as well.
Contact lenses that correct vision from various distances are known as multifocal contacts.
The three main types of multifocal contacts are:
These work a lot like progressive eyeglasses with gradual, across-lens intensity shifts.
These contain bullseye-like circles that alternate between near and far vision zones.
These divide near and far vision correction between the lens’s top and bottom halves.
Aspheric and concentric multifocal contacts are soft lenses, which bring added comfort and flexibility. They’re also available as limited-wear, disposable contacts.
Segmented bifocal contacts are rigid and gas-permeable, which helps the flatter bottom edges stay in place. They tend to last longer than soft contacts.
As with any new eye correction tool, it may take some time to feel completely at ease with multifocal contacts. Some people transition easily, while others notice 3D-like vision or shadows at first. Gradually, almost everyone sees clearly and comfortably with these specialty contacts.
Maintaining realistic expectations, following your provider’s instructions, and taking breaks from wearing your lenses when needed can help make for a positive experience as you adapt.