Bifocal contact lenses have been developed for people who have both
presbyopia. Bifocal lenses provide correction for both
near and distance vision on each lens. A number of designs are available in
hard and soft lenses.
There are two main types of bifocal contact lenses:
Segmented (also called alternating or translating). These resemble standard bifocal eyeglasses, in which
there are two distinct areas, or segments, of the lens. You have to look
through these different parts of the lens for distance vision (upper) and near
vision (lower), and the lenses can move, making vision inconsistent. In some
cases, the lenses may be weighted to keep them properly oriented on your
Concentric or simultaneous. These lenses provide
correction for near or distance vision in the center of the lens, and
correction for the other type of vision in a ring surrounding the center. There
is usually a sharp boundary between the two areas. A special type of concentric
lens, called aspheric, provides a gradual transition between the areas for near
and distance vision. This can provide a way to correct for vision at
intermediate distances. Because concentric or simultaneous contact lens designs
provide correction for both near and distance vision close to the center of the
lens, both near and far objects can be in focus at the same time. Your brain
must learn to select the visual information it needs to form an image of either
near or distant objects, so simultaneous bifocal contact lenses may require
Some people are not satisfied with bifocal contact lenses. They may:
Have a hard time adjusting to the different areas for near and
Be dissatisfied with the quality of the vision
correction provided by the lenses.
Have problems with glare at
Some vision problems cannot be corrected very well by current designs
for bifocal lenses.
Also, because they are more complex, bifocal contact lenses require a
longer fitting process and are usually more expensive than single-vision
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.