Do You Wear Multi-focal Contact Lenses?

Updated on April 30, 2015
T.R. asks from Altamonte Springs, FL
12 answers

I've had a pair of progressive glasses for 4 years (my first pair of glasses at age 41) and it's been challenging to get used to them. Lately, I have felt that my eyes were getting worse, so I had an eye exam today (after 4 years) and the script is the same with a slight change of axis (what ever that means, lol), so they said it's pretty much the same. I was happy hear that, but surprised because I feel like it's much worse. But apparently, actually "wearing" glasses make your eyes less tired and thus less blurry, go figure! Lol... So I think the frames are part of the problem, they get in the way, and also always searching for the "sweet spot", I get frustrated, and the more tired I am the less tolerance I have, so I take them off. But, I do have to say that I do like being able to see clearer when I wear them, unfortunately it's only for short amounts of time. I am wondering if contacts would be better? Do you have any experience with multi-focal contact lenses? How are they?? Any thoughts, reviews etc.. are appreciated! :)

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answers from Dallas on

I tried the multi-focal contact lenses for three weeks, but I had migraines more frequently when I was wearing them. After three weeks I gave up. Now I just keep wearing my regular contacts and put on my reading glasses whenever I need to.

My husband and my dad wear multi-focal contacts and love them, though. It seems to depend on the person. I would give them a shot if I were you. Good luck!

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answers from Portland on

I am in need but have been putting off due to the experiences of my friends and my sister.

Instead of progressive contacts my sister's older optometrist recommended she try two different lenses - one far sighted, one near sighted - so that she relies on one eye to read close up, and her other eye automatically reads/looks far. It works for her. Took her about a day or two, and she loves them. She could not wear progressive contact lenses. She tried them for an extended period of time and never got used to them. Her eyesight is quite bad.

She does not wear progressive glasses. She opts instead for those cheapy reading glasses you get at drug stores, and switches her glasses depending on what she is doing.

My friend wears progressive contacts (spent forever getting the right ones as found them hard to adjust to) but every time I see her she's wearing her glasses. I think they are progressive too - but she couldn't get used to the contacts. She also has bad eyesight (like -9.0). So I don't know if it's worse for people with very bad vision ..

Not sure if that helps but I like the idea of the two different prescriptions (so one eye reads close up and one reads far). I asked my guy if he has done that and he said he does. And it's less expensive.

Good luck :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

I absolutely could not wear contact lenses! I wore glasses (40 was my magic age for me!) when needed but hated taking then off and on.

My wonderful, no regret solution was solution laser corrective surgery. It was a little different than Lasix as my cornea was a bit too thin so I got PRK. I planned ahead and used my flexible spending account. Best money spent!

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answers from Miami on

I wear progressives when I'm not wearing my contacts. I love them because I don't have to take them on and off to read and watch TV, which is what I used to have to do with my regular distance glasses.

However, I tried multi-focal contact lenses and just could not see with them. Sorry to not be able to give you a good review. Instead, I wear regular contacts and readers with them. I bit the bullet and got prescription readers because when you are near-sighted, your eye lets too much light in and cheap drug store readers are too hard to see out of. My prescription readers take the light into account and it's clear as a bell.

The worst my farsightedness gets, the better my distance vision gets. Funny, huh! The doctor has ratcheted down my contact lens prescription over the years - from a 5.5 in each eye to a 3.75 and 4.0. I've gotten new glasses too, not as strong a prescription. When I get older and my eyes are no longer changing, I'll get Restore done to both eyes and I won't have to wear either distance contacts or reading glasses.

Your problem with your glasses is pretty interesting. I would ask if they have a return policy if you try a new pair. You shouldn't have to search for a "sweet spot".

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answers from San Diego on

I have progressive lenses. There absolutely is a learning curve. For the first week I would wear them as much as I could but I would have to take them off a lot. Even now, 2+ years later I have days where I have to take them off for a few minutes every so often. Especially if I've been doing a lot of reading. I've worn glasses since I was 8 and I've needed the progressives for years I just put it off until I had to start stealing my kids' magnifying glass out of their science kit to be able to see.
The only way to get them to work is to wear them though. Don't switch back and forth between an older pair and the new ones. Just take them off, rest your eyes and put them back on.

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answers from Las Vegas on

I have worn them for years, but now at 50, I find that I prefer my glasses, however, I don't wear progressive lens.. just regular ones and when I want to read up close, I take off my glasses to do as such.. in terms of the progressive contacts lens.. although I wore them for a long time, I never loved them.. but at the time, it was better than wearing glasses... and I could use them to read up close.. now, they don't work too well for that.. hence, I am back to glasses..
I never thought the contacts made my eyesight really crisp.. although I could see from a distance and at that time read up close, it was never the greatest and to me, glasses just did the trick better..
however, I still have my contacts because sometimes I don't want to wear glasses..

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answers from St. Louis on

I hear your multi-focal and raise you tri-focal. My right eye is close up and mid, my left eye is distance and mid. Works like a charm unless you accidentally mix up the right and the left.

The first three days you wear them you have a headache as your brain works through what it is looking through. That is why mixing up the right and left is bad, you get the three day headache only worse than the first time you wear them. On top of that you switch them back another headache.

Oh and I am 47, I didn't need glasses until I was 44.

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answers from Amarillo on

I have the veriview (sp) lens and love them. It took a bit to the way they work but it is great.

If you area having problems with the "sweet spot" in your lens, it could be off. You might need a new pair but that is the only thing that would give you such problems. I sometimes forget I have them on. Are the frames for the glass large enough so that they are not in your view when on? If they are small you might need to get a larger one.

Oh the joys of maturing. But hey you can still see and do things.

Have a great day.

the other S.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I am on the doorstep of making this decision myself. I do, however, have the advantage of wearing contacts for many, many years. Wearing contacts, alone, takes some getting used to.

Recently I was wearing my contacts (brought some drugstore reading glasses with me to help), when one of them was really irritating my eye. I finally decided to take it out and just give it a shot. I was AMAZED at how well my brain adjusted. I didn't need the reading glass for the rest of the day. My contact eye could see distance, and my other eye could see upclose. It wasn't perfect, by any means, but it was actually pretty darn good.

You might try talking to your doctor about wearing one lens that helps you see distance and one lens that helps you see close up.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm not a contact wearer, so can't give you anything useful. my husband too has the progressive glasses, and has for over 2 years, and, like you, is still finding them a challenge.
i need new glasses but don't think i'm going to go the progressive route. it's a PITA to have 'driving glasses' and 'reading glasses' but at least i'm used to it at this point.

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answers from Washington DC on

I have trifocal glasses and also use multi-focal contacts. With the contacts I have never had vision as good as with the glasses, and if I'm driving I prefer the glasses so I can see road signs from a greater distance. It's also harder for me to read and use the computer with the contacts than with the glasses, so I lose some close vision as well. I don't think it's a case of not being able to find the correct spot on the contact lens; I just feel the prescription never quite seems the same. My optometrist (my own age, has worn glasses/lenses since childhood like I have) says that with many people there is a tradeoff with some lenses--you gain better distance vision, but lose crisp up-close vision, for instance. I tend to lose a bit of both, but then, I have pretty lousy eyes! It's a factor of age and the prescription being good but never perfect at all distances.

I would say absolutely do try the multi-focal contacts and be sure to give them a good long trial so you really know how to "work" them. They may be idea for you as they are for many folks! Mine are now more for when I am going to be outside at an event, or want to go without glasses for a special occasion. But that is me, and not you. Do try them.

Be aware, as you get used to them, you might turn your head suddenly (as in glancing to the side while driving) and find your vision is suddenly a bit blurry--but you will work through that. It wasn't ever a safety issue for me. But it was disconcerting at times when I first had the lenses.



answers from Sacramento on

My optometrist advised against the multifocal contacts because they don't work as well as the glasses.

So, in my 40s, I made the call to start wearing glasses. My progressives are great! I was told there would be a learning curve but I honestly adjusted to them immediately. I see terrific now and have had no issues with them. I was surprised, because I really hated wearing glasses at night when I wore contacts. Hate the feeling of anything on my face. However, it hasn't been a huge issue. I invested in a higher quality frame than I used when I just wore them at night. The only time the glasses really bother me is with swimming (have to be blind in the water without them) or when I'm at yoga class.

I think a lot has to do with who's making the glasses and how well the progressive lenses actually turn out. I paid more having mine done through Kaiser, but it's been an easy transition. I know others who got theirs done at cheaper places and have had issues.

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