How Do Bifocal Soft Contact Lenses Work?

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Bifocal soft contact lenses work by projecting two different images onto the retina: one for far vision, and one for near vision. Some patients complain of halos and glare when using bifocal contacts, but many people enjoy the freedom of not having to use reading glasses. Find out more about bifocal contacts with information from an ophthalmologist in this free video on bifocal contact lenses.

Part of the Video Series: Eye Care & Vision Problems
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Video Transcript

My name's Dr. Alan Watson. I'm an ophthalmologist, in St. Joseph, Missouri, and we're here today to talk about eye problems. The way bifocal soft contact lenses work is they project two different images onto the retina; one for far vision and one for near vision, and what happens is the patient will tend to pay attention to that image that they need to see to allow them to figure out what's going on. Some patients will complain about bifocal contact lenses, because everything will have kind of two images to it, and so the the complaints that they might have is some halos at night. The two edge phenomenon around lights and signs may be distressing to em'. Some patients will actually get glare emanating from a light, or star bursting emanating from a light from a bifocal contact, but the trade-off is a lot of the patients enjoy the freedom and convenience of not having to pull out reading glasses to see their menu of their at the restaurant, and they can also see well enough to drive. The success rate with bifocal contacts is somewhere in the sixty to seventy percent range. Thirty percent of the patients do not care for them whatsoever, and prefer other methods of treating their presbyopia or problems reading up close. This has been Dr. Alan Watson, Ophthalmologist, at St. Joseph, Missouri, discussing different eye problems, and the treatment of different eye problems with you.


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