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Multifocal Contact Lenses

Distance, intermediate and near powers on a multifocal contact lens

What Are Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Multifocal contacts are contact lenses that have multiple (near, intermediate, and distance) prescriptions in one lens with a gradual transition. These are the contact lens equivalent of progressive eyeglass lenses.

Who Needs Multifocal Contacts?

Multifocal contacts are designed to correct presbyopia, a common problem for people 40 years of age or older. Presbyopia is the natural, age-related vision problem where it is difficult to view objects clearly up close. This makes it especially difficult to read. Prior to the introduction of multifocal lenses, people who wore contacts for distance vision correction would also have to carry around reading glasses.

popular multifocal contacts

Getting Used to Multifocal Contacts

Like anything new, there will be an adjustment period when trying multifocal contacts for the first time. It’s important to communicate your lifestyle and needs to your eye doctor if you’re interested in multifocal lenses. That will help them make the transition period go smoother. It can take multiple appointments and up to six weeks before you’re fully comfortable with wearing multifocal contact lenses.

Pros and Cons of Multifocal Contacts


  • Improved visual acuity for the range of distances from near to far
  • A smooth, gradual transition between the prescriptions
  • Better vision in most conditions without extra eyewear


  • Potentially difficult adjustment period
  • More expensive than spherical contact lenses