How do multifocal contact lenses work

What are multifocal contact lenses?

Multifocal or 'varifocal contact lenses' have been designed to correct the visual issue of presbyopia. They blend together two or more prescriptions to allow your eyes the ability to focus on objects at all distances, giving you the freedom from wearing varifocal glasses.

Multifocal contact lenses are also known as ‘varifocal contact lenses’ or ‘progressive contact lenses’.

The transition between these different prescriptions is much more gradual than with bifocal glasses, and makes for seamless focusing on objects both near and far.

By offering two or more different prescriptive powers, multifocal contact lenses are able to ensure clear and concise vision across all distances, whether the object you’re looking at is right in front of your nose, a few metres in front of you, or on the other side of the streets.

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia occurs as we age, and causes the eye’s lens to thicken and lose its mobility. This results in a lessened ability to focus effectively on close-up objects. Tasks such as reading, painting nails and using a mobile phone can be made much harder with presbyopia, often causing headaches or tiredness.

It's for these reasons that multifocal contact lenses are required. 

What types of multifocal contact lenses are available?

The most popular type of multifocal contact lens features an aspheric design, essentially positioning both the short and long-distance prescriptions in front of the pupil and blending them together. This ultimately means that your eyes are able to decide which prescription to use to view each object.

Alternatively, multifocal contact lenses with concentric designs are also available. These offer your standard prescriptive correction through the centre of the lens, with rings of different prescription powers, both short and long distance, circled around.

Our huge range of contact lenses includes best-selling daily disposable multifocals such as Dailies AquaComfort Plus Multifocal, Proclear 1 Day Multifocal and 1 Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal. Alternatively, multifocal contact lenses can be found in monthly wear form, with Biofinity Multifocal and Proclear Multifocal.

Quick links:


A guide to presbyopia
Are there age limits on wearing contact lenses?