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Scleral Lenses

What are scleral lenses?

These hard-to-fit contacts are rigid gas permeable lenses that have an extra-large diameter. They vault completely over your cornea, coming to rest on the whites of your eye (called the sclera). Scleral lenses thereby cover the irregular corneal surface with a rounded optical surface, helping you to achieve clear vision – even if you have keratoconus.

As the shape of scleral lenses creates a bridge over the eye, it leaves a gap that fills with tears. This pocket of tears enhances comfortable vision for people with dry eyes, which makes scleral lenses a great option for people with severe dry eye syndrome.

How safe are scleral lenses?

Although this may be the first time you have heard of scleral lenses, they aren’t a new invention. In fact, they are the oldest type of contact lenses, invented in the early 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci. However, the first prototypes that were manufactured in Europe were not very permeable to oxygen. As a result, they caused many negative side effects, such as corneal swelling.

Nowadays, modern scleral lenses are designed and crafted with precise technology, new materials and computer-driven lathes. This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort. Contemporary sclerals have a high oxygen permeability, which reduces the risk of eye complications. Patients with keratoconus can have crystal-clear vision along with protection of the sensitive corneal surface.

What happens during a fitting for scleral lenses?

The eye doctor will map your cornea using advanced corneal topography equipment. This generates a detailed diagram of your cornea, which is used to make customized scleral contact lenses. We equip our office with the newest technologies in order to ensure an efficient eye care experience and lenses that fit you perfectly.

Is it difficult to insert and care for scleral lenses?

At the very beginning, it can be tricky to insert scleral contacts. Yet, our optometrists provide complete instruction and training. After a short practice period of inserting and removing your lenses, you’ll have no trouble at all! Scleral lenses are very durable and easy to handle.

You must care for scleral lenses in the same way as standard contacts. Right after you remove them, clean and store them with the recommended disinfectant.

When are scleral lenses an effective option?

Our eye care professionals prescribe scleral lenses typically for patients with keratoconus, corneal dystrophies and degenerations, and in the case of corneal scarring. In addition, they are helpful for people with extreme dry eye syndrome, chronic inflammatory conditions, Sjorgen’s disease and other specific conditions. Many of our patients who try scleral lenses report that they are pleased to finally enjoy sharp and comfortable vision!

Scleral lenses can also be the ideal treatment for people with a vision prescription that exceeds the standard parameters of soft contacts.

Contact our optometrists to schedule a consultation at our optometry practice. We offer expert fittings for scleral lenses and a premium selection of these specialty contacts for hard-to-fit vision conditions. Learn more about Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses.

UV Protection

uv diagramThere is no shortage of information about ultraviolet rays (UV) and how prolonged, unprotected exposure to UV can lead to skin damage. It’s why we wear sunscreen when we’re in the sun for extended periods of time. Sunscreens offer various degrees of UV protection by filtering out or “blocking” the harmful, invisible UVA and UVB wavelengths of light.

But did you know the same, serious approach to protecting your skin also applies to your eyes?

Watch a short video about UV rays.

UV protection is critical to eye health

Eye exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause damage your eyes. Over time, UV can contribute to serious age-related eye conditions or diseases. That’s why wearing lenses with maximum UV protection is so very important. Because UV rays are always present outdoors—on sunny days, cloudy days and every day in between.

Unlike sunscreen that you apply and reapply, eyeglass lenses and sunglasses can have ultraviolet protection built into the lens, or applied as a lens treatment. Remember, although UV is invisible to the human eye, it is always present. Your lenses, therefore, should always provide UV protection.

The most important thing you need to know about UV glasses is this: Be certain your eyewear provides near or exactly 100% UV protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Anything less is less than ideal for the short and long-term protection of your healthy sight.

Learn More

 

Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide, for information material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!

Women’s Eyeglass Frames

Woman Trying on GlassesWomen’s eyeglasses have come a long way in the last few decades and in today’s eyewear market there is an abundance of options. With constant innovations in style, comfort, and quality, eyeglasses have become as much a fashion accessory as a medical device to improve vision. In addition to all of the optical companies creating eyeglass frames, many of the major designer fashion lines have come to incorporate eyewear into their portfolios as well. So, when it’s time for a new pair, where does a woman start?

When you shop at an optical store, the optician is trained to help you select the right pair of frames. This decision should take into consideration your personal style, your lifestyle and your appearance. The right frame will look great with your complexion, coloring and face shape, feel comfortable and suit your needs in terms of flexibility, durability, cost and style.

The best way to make the shopping process a success is to have some ideas of what you want before you go in. This will help the optician narrow down the options. Here are some questions to ask yourself in advance of your visit to the optician:

1) What shape eyewear looks good with my facial structure? If you currently have eyeglasses, do you want a similar shape?
2) What color eyewear compliments my complexion? What colors do I like? What colors are predominant in my wardrobe?
3) What style do I prefer? Modern or retro? Classic or contemporary?
4) Where do I wear my frames in general? To work, out on the town?
5) Do I play sports or engage in activities that would require durable glasses?
6) Do I have young kids that might pull my glasses off?
7) How much am I willing to spend on my eyeglasses?
8) Do I want to get coatings on my glasses (anti-scratch, anti-glare etc) or consider transition lenses that darken in the sun?

Armed with this information, your optician will have a much easier time assisting you in finding the perfect pair.

Once you have narrowed down the options, you want to make sure that the pair you choose fits well and will be comfortable for extended use. You don’t want to have any reason not to wear your new eyeglasses!

Make sure the frames are the right width for your face – that they don’t slide off when you look down or press on your temples or behind your ears. The frames should be snug but not cause any pressure. Also pay attention to whether they fit comfortably across the bridge of the nose.

Lastly, make sure that your eyes are completely within the frame where the lenses go so you are not looking over the top of the frame.

If you can’t find one perfect pair, you can always consider buying a second pair. This way you can mix and match depending on your outfit and your mood.

Eyeglasses

New clients and all our current patients from Washington are welcome to visit our optical with their current prescription – no appointment necessary.

Proudly serving Iowa’s Washington County and surrounding smaller communities in all directions for more than 41 years.

Our staff will help you find the best fit for your specific needs and explain how different lenses and frames will impact your vision. They will help you narrow down your choices so you can find the look, fit and functionality you want from your eyewear.

Our optical in Washington, IA offers a large selection of eyeglasses, designer frames and sunglasses. We carry the latest European and American designer eyewear collections in a variety of styles, colors and materials including titanium, stainless steel and plastic.

Disposable Contacts

disposable contacts in Washington, IAProper contact lens care can be a daunting task for many. Making sure that you, or your children, are using the right contact lens solution, in the right amount and changing it every day, as well as sticking to your doctor recommended replacement schedule every 2 weeks to a month, is a burden that most are not ready to handle. As a matter of fact, recent studies reveal that as few as 2% of all contact lens wearers actually clean and store their contact lenses as they are supposed to. As a result, the majority of people wearing rigid gas permeable or bi-weekly and monthly disposable contacts, expose their eyes daily to a host of harmful bacteria that can grow on their lenses over time and cause serious eye infections that have the potential to do severe damage to their eyes, up to and including total blindness.

Fortunately, a significantly safer contact lens alternative does exist - daily disposable contact lenses.

With daily disposable contact lenses, you are able to experience crystal clear vision every day, without the worry or stress of proper storage and cleaning. Simply throw today's pair away before bed, and enjoy the benefits and comfort of a brand new, clean, crisp pair of contact lenses the very next morning. Contact lens-related infections and eye conditions that result from improper cleaning and storage are a thing of the past. Now, you can enjoy the simple pleasures of crisp, clean, comfortable vision at the start of every day.

Another important advantage of daily disposable contact lenses is that there is no longer a need for you to worry about being forgetful when it comes to your contact lens replacement schedule. Many people are not aware of the extent of damage that can be done when contact lenses are not changed for a clean, new pair on time. Wearing of contact lenses until they become uncomfortable to wear, and then switching them out, is an all-too-common and very damaging practice. Most people are unaware that by the time their contact lenses feel uncomfortable on the eye, serious damage may have already been done. With daily disposables, if you can remember that every morning starts with a new pair, then you're set.

Daily contact lenses are a great way to start enjoying stress-free, crystal clear vision every day. For more information, and to find out if daily disposable contact lenses are right for you, contact your eye doctor today!

Eyeglass Frames

Are you in the market or mood for a new pair of eyeglasses? The selection is vast, with many fashionable, attractive pairs of glasses to browse through. How can you narrow down your options and choose the style of frames that are best for you?

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Eyewear

  1. What’s my taste? Do I prefer a bold or subtle expression? Do I favor modern lines, a retro look or more conservative, classic styles?
  2. Where do I plan to wear these frames- at work, in the backyard, or for social outings?
  3. What colors work best with my skin and hair tones?
  4. What are the primary colors in my wardrobe?
  5. What’s the shape of my face?
  6. Do I like my current eyeglasses? If not, then what’s the problem?

Bring this information to your optician when you pay a visit to the eyeglass store, and most of the work will already be done! Your optician, who is highly skilled and an expert in fitting your eyewear will be able to hone in quickly on the eyeglasses that are most suitable.

How to Judge Fit and Comfort

Research conducted by the eyewear industry indicates that women pay more attention to how eyeglasses appear on their face, while men are more interested in how they feel and fit. Yet even if looks are your primary concern, if your eyeglasses aren’t comfortable – you won’t be pleased for long.

To judge the fit of frames when trying them on:

  • Frames should be wide enough for your face and not too snug on sides of your head. The edges of your eyeglasses should extend beyond the sides of your face. This ensures that the temples won’t press in on your head as they rest on your ears.
  • The curves at the end of each temple should go past your ear without pushing down on it. If they don’t, then the temples aren’t long enough.
  • The built-in nose piece or silicone nose pads should fit comfortably and firmly, without pinching the bridge of your nose. Silicone nose pads can generally be adjusted.
  • Your glasses should be able to stay in place when you move your head to and fro. Nod a few times, turn your head right and left, and bend over to touch the floor. Make sure that your glasses don’t slip off.

Is One Pair of Eyeglasses Enough?

Take a look at your closet. You likely own more than one pair of shoes, right? Unless you’re on a very tight budget, more than one pair of eyeglasses isn’t a luxury. Eyewear is a hip accessory, and the same pair may not be appropriate for all parts of your modern lifestyle. Just like your clothing, your eyeglass needs differ for home, work and social occasions.

If owning a solitary pair is enough for you, then choose frames that you love and feel good about no matter what you’re wearing or where you go. These eyeglasses will be on your face constantly, so take your time and pick a style that fits your unique personality and vision requirements.

Lens Options for Eyeglasses

If you thought the trickiest part of choosing a new pair of glasses was the frame selection, think again. You should be putting just as much thought and consideration into the lenses that you select for your new specs.

Here’s why: The quality and type of lenses in your eyeglasses will not only correct your visual acuity, but they will allow you to continue to see your best through various conditions. Whether it is keeping the lenses free from scratches, fog, glare or UV rays, or making them stronger or more attractive, your eyeglass lenses can help to keep your eyes safe and comfortable wherever the day (or night) takes you.

Lens Coatings

Here are a variety of coatings that you can apply to your lenses to maintain optimal vision and comfort and to protect your lenses and your eyes.

Anti-reflective/Anti-glare Coatings

Anti-reflective (AR) also known as anti-glare coatings help reduce the reflections and glare on your lenses, improving your vision and comfort in high-glare environments, and the look of your glasses as well (you can see your eyes clearly without a reflection on the front of the lens). Reflections from the sun, television and computer screens and bright lights (especially when driving at night) can cause eye strain, headaches and difficulty seeing. AR coatings and lenses can reduce this effect, improving your vision quality and comfort in these circumstances.

Scratch Resistant Coatings

Scratches not only affect the smooth look of the surface of your glasses but they can disrupt your vision. A scratch-resistant coating adds an extra layer of protection on the surface of the lens to significantly reduce scratching. This coating is particularly great for kids who may tend to be a little more rough with their eyewear.

Ultraviolet Coatings

Ultraviolet (UV) coatings protect your eyes from harmful UV rays from the sun. This coating can turn standard lenses into UV blocking lenses that can block 100% of the UV light from entering your eyes. UV is linked to the development of a number of eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal damage.

Anti-fog Coatings

Particularly if you live in a cold climate, you may have experienced walking indoors from the cold and having your glasses lenses fog up completely. This can take a few minutes to resolve and can be dangerous if you are driving or need to see clearly. Anti-fog coatings will eliminate this effect, creating a smooth transition from cold to hot environments.

Lens Options

You may want to go with an upgraded lens to improve the look, strength or functionality of your glasses.

High Index Lenses

High index lenses have a higher refractive index which means they reflect more light than standard prescription lenses. What this means for you, the consumer, is that they can be made thinner and lighter than traditional lenses. High index lenses are particularly popular with those that need a high prescription as they are able to avoid thick lenses, adding comfort and a smoother look, but a higher price tag.

Trivex or Polycarbonate Lenses

Trivex or polycarbonate lenses are impact resistant lenses – a fantastic choice for sports and safety eyewear as well as standard sunglasses and eyeglasses for active types or kids. These lenses also offer full UV protection and are lightweight for optimal comfort.

Polychromatic Lenses

Polychromatic lenses are made with special technology that turns them into sunglasses when exposed to sunlight. The lenses darken automatically when you go outside and return to normal when you go back indoors. Polychromatic lenses can come in a number of tint colors and are great when you need prescription sunglasses but don’t want to carry around or pay for another pair.

Aspheric Lenses

Aspheric lenses use advanced technology to create a slimmer, flatter and lighter lens than standard prescription lenses. While aspheric lenses can improve the appearance of any prescription lens, they are especially beneficial for those who are farsighted since those lenses tend to bulge out in the middle.

So the next time you are in the market for new eyeglasses, speak to your optometrist or optician about the best lens choices for your eyes, your vision and your lifestyle.

Our Featured Brands

DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® MultifocalAlcon DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Multifocal

Designed for clarity at a wide range of distances and refreshing comfort all day.

TECHNOLOGY

DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® Multifocal contact lenses combine the best of both worlds—Precision Profile design for clear vision and blink-activated moisture for refreshing comfort all day.

Here's how it works:

Unique Precision Profile design

A full range of prescription strengths blends seamlessly for instant focus and smooth transitions across a wide range of distances. Whether it’s reading a restaurant menu or your favorite book, you can start seeing comfortably again within arm’s length, without eyestrain. And only DAILIES® AquaComfort Plus® brand contact lenses have blink-activated moisture for outstanding comfort throughout the day.

BENEFITS

  • Blink-activated moisture technology for outstanding comfort throughout the day
  • No cleaning required
  • Designed for clarity at all distances, near through far

RECOMMENDED FOR:

People who have presbyopia (inability to focus on near objects who may currently use reading glasses) and aren’t currently wearing contact lenses or are dissatisfied with their current contact lenses.

ACUVUE® VITA® Monthly Contact Lenses

JJ acuvue vita

Don’t blame yourself for your monthly contact lens discomfort, it could be your lenses. As the month goes on, you might be using rewetting drops, taking breaks, or removing your lenses to deal with the discomfort. If this sounds familiar, NEW ACUVUE® VITA® Brand with HydraMax™ Technology might be the right lenses for you.

KEY FEATURES

  • Monthly contact lenses designed for reliable, superior comfort. New ACUVUE® VITA® delivers on weeks 1, 2, 3 and 4 by maximizing and maintaining hydration throughout the lens.
  • ACUVUE® VITA® lenses are available in 6 lenses per box.
  • The highest level of UV protection available in a contact lens.*
  • HydraMax™ Technology helps maximize and maintain hydration throughout the lens—providing lasting comfort throughout the month.

*UV-absorbing contact lenses are NOT substitutes for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as UV-absorbing goggles or sunglasses because they do not completely cover the eye and surrounding area. You should continue to use UV-absorbing eyewear as directed.

AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde

AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde CONTACT LENSESLASTING LENS SURFACE MOISTURE AND EXCELLENT DEPOSIT PROTECTION IN ONE CONTACT LENS

AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde contact lenses bring together two advanced technologies designed to provide long-lasting lens surface moisture and deposit protection

PRODUCT FEATURES:

Smartshield® Technology: Helps shield against irritating deposits all month long

Hydraglyde Moisture Matrix: Attracts and maintains surface moisture on the lens even through the end of the day

AIR OPTIX® plus HydraGlyde contact lenses support a comfortable lens wearing experience.

Biofinity®Biofinity

Premium soft contact lenses. Luxurious extended-wear comfort.

AT A GLANCE

  • Monthly replacement
  • Lenses stay moist and comfortable
  • Naturally wettable so you're less likely to need additional wetting drops

Up to 6 Nights/7 Days of Continuous Wear

You need your nearsighted or farsighted vision corrected. You also demand contacts with comfort that lasts all day—starting with your first morning cup to going out with friends until midnight.

Meet CooperVision Biofinity®, the silicone hydrogel contact lenses that won’t slow down your busy days. Biofinity lenses offer you the premium level of comfort that you’re searching for. And you’re free to wear them for up to 7 days in a row.

A Healthier Lens-Wearing Experience

Thanks to our exclusive Aquaform® Technology, Biofinity lenses allow plenty of oxygen to pass through to your eyes. And their natural wettability won’t rinse off. You’ll enjoy excellent vision with a soft, comfortable lens that’s healthier for your eyes. Learn more about Disposable Contacts.

ULTRA contact lenses with MoistureSeal technology

Bausch+Lomb ULTRA

  • MoistureSeal Technology Maintains 95% of its moisture for a full 16 hours.
  • With MoistureSeal technology, your contacts feel comfortable – even at the end of the day.
  • 9 OUT OF 10 PATIENTS AGREE: As comfortable at the end of the day as it is in the beginning

Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are a great alternative to wearing eyeglasses. An often unknown fact is that not all patients wear contact lenses as their primary source of vision correction. Each patient is different, with some patients wearing contact lenses only on weekends, special occasions or just for sports. That is the beauty of contact lens wear, the flexibility it gives each individual patient and their lifestyle.

If you decide to opt for contact lens wear, it is very important that the lenses fit properly and comfortably and that you understand contact lens safety and hygiene. A contact lens exam will include both a comprehensive eye exam to check your overall eye health, your general vision prescription and then a contact lens consultation and measurement to determine the proper lens fit.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Whether or not you have vision problems, it is important to have your eyes checked regularly to ensure they are healthy and that there are no signs of a developing eye condition. A comprehensive eye exam will check the general health of your eyes as well as the quality of your vision. During this exam the eye doctor will determine your prescription for eyeglasses, however this prescription alone is not sufficient for contact lenses. The doctor may also check for any eye health issues that could interfere with the comfort and success of contact lens wear.

The Contact Lens Consultation

The contact lens industry is always developing new innovations to make contacts more comfortable, convenient and accessible. Therefore, one of the initial steps in a contact lens consultation is to discuss with your eye doctor some lifestyle and health considerations that could impact the type of contacts that suit you best.

Some of the options to consider are whether you would prefer daily disposables or monthly disposable lenses, as well as soft versus rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses. If you have any particular eye conditions, such as astigmatism or dry eye syndrome, your eye doctor might have specific recommendations for the right type or brand for your optimal comfort and vision needs.

Now is the time to tell your eye doctor if you would like to consider colored contact lenses as well. If you are over 40 and experience problems seeing small print, for which you need bifocals to see close objects, your eye doctor may recommend multifocal lenses or a combination of multifocal and monovision lenses to correct your unique vision needs.

Contact Lens Fitting

One size does not fit all when it comes to contact lenses. Your eye doctor will need to take some measurements to properly fit your contact lenses. Contact lenses that do not fit properly could cause discomfort, blurry vision or even damage the eye. Here are some of the measurements your eye doctor will take for a contact lens fitting:

Corneal Curvature

In order to assure that the fitting curve of the lens properly fits the curve of your eye, your doctor will measure the curvature of the cornea or front surface of the eye. The curvature is measured with an instrument called a keratometer to determine the appropriate curve for your contact lenses. If you have astigmatism, the curvature of your cornea is not perfectly round and therefore a “toric” lens, which is designed specifically for an eye with astigmatism, would be fit to provide the best vision and lens fit. In certain cases your eye doctor may decide to measure your cornea in greater detail with a mapping of the corneal surface called corneal topography.

Pupil or Iris Size

Your eye doctor may measure the size of your pupil or your iris (the colored area of your eye) with an instrument called a biomicroscope or slit lamp or manually with a ruler or card. This measurement is especially important if you are considering specialized lenses such as Gas Permeable (GP) contacts.

Tear Film Evaluation

One of the most common problems affecting contact lens wear is dry eyes. If the lenses are not kept adequately hydrated and moist, they will become uncomfortable and your eyes will feel dry, irritated and itchy. Particularly if you have dry eye syndrome, your doctor will want to make sure that you have a sufficient tear film to keep the lenses moist and comfortable, otherwise, contact lenses may not be a suitable vision option.

A tear film evaluation is performed by the doctor by putting a drop of liquid dye on your eye and then viewing your tears with a slit lamp or by placing a special strip of paper under the lid to absorb the tears to see how much moisture is produced. If your tear film is weak, your eye doctor may recommend certain types of contact lenses that are more successful in maintaining moisture.

Contact Lens Trial and Prescription

After deciding which pair of lenses could work best with your eyes, the eye doctor may have you try on a pair of lenses to confirm the fit and comfort before finalizing and ordering your lenses. The doctor or assistant would insert the lenses and keep them in for 15-20 minutes before the doctor exams the fit, movement and tearing in your eye. If after the fitting, the lenses appear to be a good fit, your eye doctor will order the lenses for you. Your eye doctor will also provide care and hygiene instructions including how to insert and remove your lenses, how long to wear them and how to store them if relevant.

Follow-up

Your eye doctor may request that you schedule a follow-up appointment to check that your contact lenses are fitting properly and that your eyes are adjusting properly. If you are experiencing discomfort or dryness in your eyes you should visit your eye doctor as soon as possible. Your eye doctor may decide to try a different lens, a different contact lens disinfecting solution or to try an adjustment in your wearing schedule. Learn more about Scleral Lenses.

Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses

If you are over 40 and have difficulty seeing close up, you probably have a common age-related condition called presbyopia which is when the eye’s natural lens loses the ability to focus on close objects. Presbyopia is a natural process as the eye ages and affects the majority of people from age 40 and upward.  Individuals with presbyopia are often familiar with the need to hold reading materials such as newspapers an arm’s length away from their eyes in order to see clearly, yet reading glasses with bifocal or multifocal (progressive) lenses can help.

Fortunately for those who don’t like the look, feel or inconvenience of reading glasses, there is another option. Bifocal and multifocal lenses are also available in contact lenses in both soft and Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) varieties.

Multifocal contact lenses give you added freedom over glasses and they allow you to be able to view any direction - up, down and to the sides - with similar vision. People wearing progressive lenses in glasses on the other hand have to look over their glasses if they want to view upwards or into the distance.

The Difference Between Bifocal and Multifocal Lenses

Just as the name indicates, bifocal lenses are divided into two distinct segments for different vision powers, the first for distance vision and the second for near vision.  This enables you to clearly switch your focus from near to far as needed, but your vision will not necessarily be clear in between. The term multifocal lenses can refer to any lenses with multiple powers including bifocals, trifocals or progressive lenses. Non-bifocal multifocal lenses have a range of powers that enable you to constantly adjust your focus to see clearly from up close to far and in between.

Multifocal contact lenses are generally designed in one of two ways, as either simultaneous vision lenses or alternating vision lenses.

Simultaneous vision lenses

The most popular version of multifocal contact lenses, simultaneous vision lenses present the distance and near vision zones of the lens at the same time.  Typically after a short adjustment period your eyes learn to utilize the segment of the lens that they need to focus on the desired object and essentially ignore the other.

They come in two designs:

  • Concentric ring design: In the most basic form these are bifocal lenses that are comprised of a central circular area of one power with a ring around of the alternate power, similar to a bulls-eye.  In this design the power of the rings (either near or distance vision is interchangeable).  For intermediate viewing (18-24 inches away) extra rings can be added to create a trifocal or multifocal lens.  The width of each ring is variable depending on the power that is needed most and the edges of the rings can be blended for a smooth transition of focus, similar to progressive eyeglass lenses.
  • Aspheric design: These multifocal lenses attempt to provide a natural vision experience by blending many lens powers across the surface and center of the lens. In this design both distance and near vision power are located in the central visual area and your eyes will adapt to focus on the area needed to view what you are looking at.

Translating or Alternating Vision lenses

Similar to bifocal eyeglass lenses, these contacts are divided into distinct areas or zones and your pupil will move to the desired zone depending on your vision needs. Typically the top of the lens, which is what you look through when looking straight ahead is for distance vision and the bottom area (what you look through when you look down) is for near vision. However, this can be reversed according to unique vision needs.

Since contact lenses sometimes move within your eye, translating lenses are held in place by a ballast which is an area that is thicker than the rest of the lens or by truncating or flattening the bottom to stay in line by the lower lid. These lenses are only available in rigid gas permeable lens material.

An Alternative Option to Multifocal Contact Lenses: Monovision

Monovision is another contact lens alternative for presbyopia particularly if you are having difficulty adapting to multifocal lenses.  Monovision splits your distance and near vision between your eyes, using your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant  eye for near vision.

Typically you will use single vision lenses in each eye however sometimes the dominant eye will use a single vision lens while a multifocal lens will be used in the other eye for intermediate and near vision. This is called modified monovision.  Your eye doctor will perform a test to determine which type of lens is best suited for each eye and optimal vision.

Are Contact Lenses Right for You?

If you have presbyopia, contact lenses may be a great option for you. Many people prefer the look and convenience of contact lenses over traditional reading glasses. Speak to your eye doctor about the options available to you.