Contact-Lens Choices for People with Astigmatism or Multi-Vision Correction Needs


If you wear bifocal or progressive corrective lenses or have astigmatism in one or both eyes, you may think that contacts are out of the question. While that was once the case, technological advances in recent years have changed that. There are several options available in contact lenses for people who need multiple corrections in a corrective lens.

How do contacts for astigmatism work?

If your eye doctor has told you that you have astigmatism in one or both eyes, that means that the lens or cornea of your eye isn't a perfectly round shape. Because it is oval or oblong, the light that enters your eyes is refracted and causes blurred vision.  A corrective lens is needed to correct the astigmatism and restore clear vision. Because the correction in the lens must match up with the area of the eye with the astigmatism, wearing contacts poses a challenge. Fortunately, there is a solution. Contacts for people with astigmatism are designed to fit the prescription for their eyes with a heavier layer at the bottom. This causes the contact lens to be weighted at the bottom and prevents the lenses from rotating. The weighted lenses stay in place and keep the correction for the astigmatism in the proper location to provide you with clear vision. These lenses are referred to as toric contact lenses. They are available in multifocal or monovision contact lenses.

How do multifocus contact lenses work?

Multifocus contact lenses come in several designs. Which is right for you depends on your preferences and lifestyle. Your eye doctor can help you decide which type is best for you. Here are the most common options.

Concentric Circles: These contact lenses contain two or more corrective lens areas arranged in concentric circles. If you normally wear bifocals, your contacts will contain correction for both near and far vision. Typically, correction for distance vision is located in the outer ring with near vision correction in the center, but this can be reversed. Pupil size and your particular vision needs determine the placement of the corrective lens. If you wear trifocals or progressive lenses and need a correction for intermediate vision, this correction is placed in a ring between the near and far vision rings. These work similar to progressive lenses, with which the intermediate and distance vision blend together to create a smooth transition.

Aspheric Designs: These contact lenses contain a correction for both near and distance vision that are both placed near the center of the lens. This forces your brain to choose where it wants to focus. In other words, when you decide to look at something at a distance, you send that message to your brain, and it pays attention to things within your chosen viewing distance. Although most people are able to adapt to aspheric lenses, some have difficulty making the transition.

Translating Designs: These contact lenses work like bifocal or trifocal glasses. The near vision is generally located at the bottom of the contact lens with the distance vision at the top. Intermediate vision, if needed, is located in the center. The corrections may be reversed if desired. You learn to view through the appropriate section of the contact lens just like you do with bifocal or trifocal glasses.

Are there any other options?

Yes. Many people enjoy monovision contact lenses. Each contact lens contains one vision correction so that you use one eye for viewing objects at a distance and one eye for viewing close-up objects. You can also get monovision contacts that have one eye correct for distance (or near vision) and the other contain a bifocal lens. Other options include contacts with intermediate vision around the outer ring with distance vision in the center of one contact and near vision in the center of the other. Which works best for you depends on which tasks you perform the most for work, hobbies, or other aspects of your lifestyle.

If you have astigmatism or currently wear bifocal, trifocal, or progressive glasses and are considering switching to contacts, talk to your eye doctor about the best options for you.


7 September 2016

Taking Your Child To The Optometrist

When it comes to parenting, taking care of your kids can feel like a daily guessing game. You might wonder why your child is acting so fussy, only to figure out a few days later that they are suffering from a cold. Unfortunately, the symptoms of poor vision can be even more difficult to notice, which is why taking your child to an optometrist is so crucial. This blog is all about noticing the signs of eye problems and taking your child to the eye doctor right away. By paying attention and being proactive about eye problems, you can keep your child healthy and happy.