Candidates for Bifocal Contact Lenses


One of the biggest misconceptions about contact lenses is that, aside from the prescription that they contain, they are all the same. In fact, there are many different types of contact lenses, ensuring that there is something to help virtually all patients regardless of their vision problem. Bifocal contact lenses remain a very popular option amongst our patients.


What are Bifocal Contact Lenses?


Bifocal contact lenses are contacts that are designed to enable patients to see clearly at two different distances without needing to change their lenses. They work in the same way as bifocal glasses in that there is a line of separation in the lens with one prescription on one side of the line, and another on the other. Usually, the distance power is in the upper segment and the near power in the lower half of the lens. This means that by adjusting which part of the lens you are looking through; you can enjoy clear vision at all times. More recently, many patients are choosing simultaneous bifocal lenses which enable you to look at both distance and near powers at the same time.


Bifocal contact lenses are available as both soft and rigid gas permeable varieties, giving patients the choice to select the style that suits them the best. For example, many people with astigmatism prefer to wear rigid style contact lenses since they help the eye to maintain a normal shape more effectively.


Who is a Candidate for Bifocal Contact Lenses?


Bifocal lenses can be effective in helping several different types of the candidate to see more clearly. These patients require assistance seeing clearly at two different distances. This means that they either suffer from a condition called presbyopia or from another common problem known as astigmatism.




Presbyopia is the name given to a condition characterized by the natural deterioration of vision with age. This deterioration is caused by the lens of the eye becomes stiffer and less flexible, affecting your ability to focus on close objects, such as a book. Many people diagnosed with presbyopia will initially opt for reading glasses. However, they can be very inconvenient and one of the most common complaints amongst patients is having to put on and take off their reading glasses all day, as well as remembering to take them with them if they go out anywhere. It is especially awkward if you have regular glasses for another refractive eye error too. Fortunately, thanks to bifocal contact lenses, there is no need to suffer from the inconvenience of eyeglasses, nor will your appearance be affected in any way.


Presbyopia typically starts to affect people after the age of 40. If you fall into this category and you feel your vision is deteriorating, don’t hesitate to speak to your eye doctor.




Astigmatism is the term used to describe a cornea that is shaped more like a football than a soccer ball, causing the light to be refracted into the eye incorrectly and causing blurred vision. Astigmatism is fairly common and tends to occur because the eye grows a little too long. Bifocal contact lenses have proved effective at ensuring patients with astigmatism have clear vision at all distances.


In addition to the above conditions, to be considered a good candidate for bifocal lenses, you should also:


  • Have a healthy tear system and not be suffering from dry eye disease

  • Have no corneal irregularities such as those seen in patients with keratoconus

  • Have a normal blinking rate

  • Be prepared to undergo the fitting process, which can be extensive but is necessary to ensure that your contacts fit properly and comfortably


If you would like more information on candidacy for bifocal contact lenses, please don’t hesitate to speak to our expert eye care team at Miller Vision Center in  Norman, OK today.

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