Bifocal contacts help people who struggle with presbyopia, which usually occurs after the age of 40. Younger patients, including some children, who are dealing with esotropia may benefit from these contacts too. The goal of the contacts is to offer a corrective solution for vision problems which occur because of these issues.
Contacts are the preferred vision correct method used for those in the 40+ age demographic because they allow for an active lifestyle to continue. Presbyopia causes elements which are close to an individual to become difficult to focus upon, like reading a book or content found on the Internet. Before the invention of bifocal contacts, the only option available to someone with this visual challenge was to wear regular contacts and reading glasses together.
Bifocal contacts offer an option for distance and one for nearby items. This structure corrects the visual elements caused by presbyopia to offer consistent vision. It also helps children train their eye muscles to focus appropriately, reducing or eliminating their issues with esotropia over time.
As with any product that helps to improve vision, there are pros and cons of bifocal contacts to evaluate before deciding on this option with your doctor.
List of the Pros of Bifocal Contacts
1. Bifocal contacts help people of all ages stay more productive.
The unique design offered by bifocal contacts allow them to visually inspect text or materials close to them which would otherwise be blurry. That means people who work in professions where detail work is necessary, such as electronics technicians or circuit-board manufacturers, continued productivity becomes possible. Children can maintain their learning curve with this option because they can see the words in textbooks or on a computer screen with greater ease.
2. Bifocal contacts are available in multiple styles for almost any preference.
You can purchase bifocal contacts as RGP (rigid gas permeable) or GP (gas permeable) lenses for consistent clarity and long-term use if you prefer. They’re available in soft lens materials if that is your preference. Some are designed for daily wear, while others offer an extended-wear feature which lets you keep them in for up to 30 days without experiencing eye irritation. If you only need the corrective lenses occasionally, then disposable contacts might be an option to think about.
Because of this variety, almost everyone can find bifocal contacts which meet their exact needs without interfering with their vision correction qualities.
3. Bifocal contacts handle weather changes better.
If you wear bifocal contacts outside when it is cold, then you won’t deal with the issue of the lenses fogging up during the temperature transition as you would with glasses. You can wear standard sunglasses over your contacts instead of wearing a prescription pair, which could save some money. That also means you’ll deal with fewer sun-glare related issues with the contacts because you have more shading options available to you. It creates more opportunities to pursue an active lifestyle without the transition delays which often come when wearing a pair of specs.
4. Bifocal contacts don’t change your sense of fashion.
Glasses require individuals to take a second look at their fashion choices. People pick out clothing items which match their specs, sometimes at the expense of what they prefer. You won’t have that option when choosing bifocal contacts. You can wear the contacts, find the perfect look for the day, and enjoy the added swagger which comes from the confidence you have in your fashion identity.
5. Bifocal contacts make it seem like you’re not wearing corrective lenses.
Some people (especially children) are very sensitive to the idea of being prescribed bifocal glasses. There can be a negative stigma associated with their use, as if a vision issue is some type of personal failure. Although that is not the case in any circumstance, some people still feel shy or isolated when they wear bifocals. These contacts can eliminate that issue. No one will even know you’re wearing them, which limits teasing, bullying, or those off-handed comments strangers like to say sometimes when you pass them in a store or on the street.
6. Bifocal contacts fit your eye curvature.
When you’re wearing bifocal contacts, you have access to a lens which conforms to how your eye naturally curves. They offer a vision correction opportunity which is naturally clear when compared to the results that glasses provide. You don’t need to worry about your contacts becoming chipped, scratched, or smudged when you follow the recommended care and use instructions offered by the manufacturer.
Bifocal contacts don’t offer the same vision obstructions that glasses create either, which means your vision stays clearer throughout the day. Fitting to the curvature of the eye permits a stronger peripheral too, which means you can see and anticipate more during your daily living activities compared to glasses of the same prescription strength.
7. Bifocal contacts are more comfortable to wear.
If you wear glasses already, then you know what a pain in the face they can be. The weight of the frame on the bridge of your nose creates sinus pressure and pain which triggers migraines in some people. Some create pressure points on top of the ears too, offering discomfort that never really goes away.
When you wear bifocal contacts, those issues are never present. There can be some eye discomfort at first as you get used to wearing them, but it doesn’t create the same pain points as glasses do.
8. Bifocal contacts allow you to stay active.
There are some activities which are easier to do when wearing bifocal contacts than they would be if you wore glasses. This option is often presented to people over 40 who are still physically active in some way, pursuing athletics, strength training, or a busy lifestyle. If your peripheral vision is off, the glasses might not be enough to save your driver’s license, but the contacts could offer the clarity you require. You still get to pursue independence with this technology.
9. Bifocal contacts permit natural head movements.
If you’ve ever worn bifocal glasses, then you know how often you must move your head to get a clear view of what you’re seeing. That happens because you must use each focal level in the lens to look at near or far items. Computer users experience this benefit most often when wearing contacts because they can look at their screen naturally. There are no painful neck or head shifts required to continue working, reading, or shopping online.
List of the Cons of Bifocal Contacts
1. Bifocal contacts require your vision to adapt to them.
Even with the difficulties that glasses offer, they do allow individuals to receive better vision almost immediately. Contacts are a different story. The design of bifocal contacts creates various levels of focus into a single lens, which means far items seem fuzzy in the near lens and vice-versa. It takes a few days for the brain to accept the new inputs offered by the glasses before items become sharp and clear once again. This issue never entirely disappears for some people either.
2. Bifocals rely on the rigid designs for best results.
Although there are multiple types of bifocal contacts available for wear today, the best results come from the GP and RGP options. Their rigidity creates a crisper image for the brain to process, reducing issues of blur and fuzz even after the transition to the new prescription is complete. Those lenses are not as comfortable as some of the soft varieties, which means individuals with sensitive eyes may not benefit from this option compared to glasses or other vision correction options.
3. Bifocal contacts must be taken out at night.
Unless you opt for the 30-day extended-wear contact lenses, your new prescription lenses must be taken out each night before going to bed. If you left the contacts in because you accidentally fell asleep or forgot about them, then waking up with bloodshot eyes that feel gritty, itchy, and painful is very common. They’ll feel dry too, which saline eye drops may not provide relief for. The contacts might become sticky too, making them difficult to take off.
4. Bifocal contacts require continuing care.
If you don’t clean your bifocal contacts correctly, then they increase the risk of an eye infection. You must care for your lenses just as you would your glasses, though the work is very different. Make sure to follow all the cleaning and storage rules offered by your doctor and the creator of your lenses for best results. Choose the extended wear option if you’re unsure of your ability to maintain your bifocal contacts nightly to avoid this disadvantage.
5. Bifocal contacts won’t prevent computer vision syndrome.
Although you’ll see better with bifocal contacts, the health issues created by staring at a screen all day, every day, won’t go away. You must still care for your eyes when wearing these lenses to avoid digital eye strain. Some bifocal lenses even enhance the strain and fatigue which come with screen exposure.
Take a break every 20 minutes when working at a computer. Stand up, then look at something in the distance for about half a minute. Then sit down to focus on your work once again. Make sure that you take a 5-minute break each hour to move around away from the computer screen too for best results.
6. Bifocal contacts reduce oxygen contacts with the eye.
Any contact lens, including bifocals, will create a barrier between the air and your cornea. Your eye likes to have exposure to oxygen for good health. The atmosphere helps your eye generate tears that keep it lubricated. Dry eye syndromes develop over time if there are continued blockages between the eye and the air which exist. If you wear contacts frequently, then you may need to speak with your doctor first about dryness concerns, especially if you have a history of dry eye health issues.
7. Bifocal contacts are sometimes challenging to put on.
Many people struggle with the placement of contacts when they’re first prescribed. Even when following the advice of their doctor, it is challenging to put bifocal lenses into your eyes for the first month or so of having them. This issue tends to get better over time for most people, but it doesn’t for some. If you are given these contacts and struggle to put them in after 2-3 weeks, then speak with your doctor about whatever options could be available to you.
8. Bifocal contacts don’t solve every vision problem.
You must use bifocal contacts with realistic outcomes in mind. They will usually improve your vision, but it is not a miracle cure-all. You’re probably not going to see as you did in your younger years. Reading fine print will still be challenging for most. If you keep the potential benefits in mind, the results will often be better.
These bifocal contact pros and cons take an overall look at the change in lifestyle that occurs when this prescription becomes necessary. The goal of these lenses is to minimize those changes whenever possible. Although they are not right for everyone, they could be an option for you. If you’re struggling with your vision, especially with close items, then speak with your doctor today about the key points found on these lists.