Bifocals are one way to treat presbyopia. This is a vision problem that some individuals face when they are between 40 and 45 years old. Around this age, many patients lose the ability to focus on smaller text that is nearby. Bifocals contain two prescriptions for one lens. One prescription is designed for reading, while the other is designed for distance vision. When getting a prescription for bifocal contact lenses, you will have to choose among several types of lenses.
Soft lenses are made out of a flexible plastic. The newest soft lenses are made using silicone-hydrogels, which allows more oxygen to pass to your eyes.
The soft lenses are the easiest for the eyes to adjust to. However, they are only well-suited for those who wear contact lenses part of the day. For example, if you mostly wear glasses, but wear contacts for special occasions, you may want soft lenses.
Gas Permeable Lenses
Gas permeable lenses are rigid lenses made of a plastic that can transmit oxygen. These lenses are harder to adapt to. However, they achieve better vision than soft lenses. Unlike soft lenses, which are best worn part-time, gas permeable lenses are best worn everyday so the eyes can adjust to them.
Concentric Bifocal Pattern Lens
With concentric bifocal pattern lenses, the near correction is a small circle in the center of the contact. Then, a larger circle surrounds this and provides distance correction. Also, you can choose to have the distance correction placed in the center and the near correction on the outer circle.
If you are someone who frequently wears his or her contacts at night, you can choose to get extended wear contacts. Extended wear contact lenses are thinner, which allows for the lens to breathe. The downside is that they are not as durable, so they might not last as long. They usually are worn for 7 days of continuous wear, though there are some brands that can be worn for longer with FDA approval. Though you can wear them for longer than a day, wearing your contacts for too long too frequently can lead to complications.
Hybrid Multifocal Lenses
If you would like the gas permeable part of the contact lens, but with the softer outer edges, you might want a hybrid multifocal lens. This option has the gas permeable portion placed in the center with a softer outer edge.
Choosing the contact lens for you can be difficult and there are often new contact lenses that are brought to the market. With careful consultation with your doctor, like those at Bass River Optometrics, you will be able to find contact lenses ideal for your eyes.