See better. Look perfect.

Multifocal contact lenses: how do they work?

Contact lenses are fascinating little things. These tiny jelly-like things that are tailored to our exact eyesight requirements, sit directly against our eyes and help us see clearly can be life-changing for both adults and kids.

Contact lenses can be made from a range of different materials depending on the prescription, like silicone hydrogels, fluoropolymers and silicone acrylate – just to name a few.

The material chosen depends on whether you need hard or soft contact lenses, but regardless of your requirements they’re a fantastic choice for a number of reasons.

Convenient and versatile, contact lenses can give wearers a new lease on life. And luckily for those who require multifocal glasses, you can have contact lenses to fit your vision too!

What are multifocal contact lenses for?

Multifocal contacts are designed for the same purpose as multifocal glasses: to correct presbyopia, a common eyesight condition that occurs with age.

Presbyopia causes difficulties with clear viewing when you’re looking at things up close, as opposed to myopia which causes issues when looking at things from a distance.

People with either presbyopia or myopia can benefit from multifocal contact lenses. It can also treat astigmatism, a common condition that occurs when the cornea is not perfectly round and curves like an oval instead, causing blurred or distorted vision.

Using multifocal contact lenses can drastically improve your vision. The lenses are designed to have different vision supports in different areas, similar to multifocal glasses. This allows you to have clear vision at all times, regardless of whether you’re looking close up or far away.

They’re much easier than repeatedly swapping out contact lenses every time you want to look at something far away – and much safer for your eyes, too!

Types of multifocal contact lenses

Typically, there are three types of multifocal contact lenses available. These are:

  1. Concentric bifocal contact lenses: These lenses have a centre-near design, with the distance prescription in the outer portion of the lens and the near correction in the centre.
  2. Aspheric multifocal contact lenses: These lenses blend many prescriptions over the surface of the lens and are designed to mimic the natural changes in the eye’s power that occur with age.
  3. Translating multifocal contact lenses: These lenses move slightly up and down to allow the wearer to see at different distances. The upper part of the lens usually has a prescription for distance vision, while the lower part is for near vision.


Each type of lens will come with advantages and disadvantages, but they can be a great option for those experiencing vision problems.

Do you need multifocals?

If you feel like you’re forever needing to take your glasses on or off, you have concerns about your eye health or your contact lens prescription doesn’t fit like it used to, you may need multifocal lenses.

Other signs might include:

  1. Difficulty seeing clearly up close, such as when reading or doing close-up work
  2. Difficulty seeing clearly at a distance, such as when driving or watching TV
  3. Difficulty adjusting to different lighting conditions
  4. Eye fatigue or strain, especially after extended periods of reading or using digital devices
  5. Squinting, headaches, or other discomfort when trying to focus on objects at different distances.

Regardless of whether the answer is multifocals or not, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms it’s important to get yourself in for an assessment with a trusted optometrist.

We’ll be able to help you understand what’s happening with your eyes and, most importantly, how to improve it.

Contact us to schedule an appointment, or just come by and visit us in our local Manly clinic – open 6 days a week!


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37 -39 The Corso
Manly 02 9977 6700 02 9977 3402