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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11361
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have worn contacts for 30 years and have enjoyed better

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I have worn contacts for 30 years and have enjoyed better than 20/20 distance vision and excellent near vision. Now I find myself "playing the trombone" to read at a normal reading distance. I went to 2 optometrists to get what I was told were bifocal contacts. One later explained that they were monovision contacts and thus I could only se clearly at a distance from one eye and up close pretty well from the other eye. I went to another eye doc and told what I was given and wanted bifocal contacts. She did the eye test and sold me lenses that she said were not monofocal and would do what I wanted (see well at a distance and well up close). Turns out they were only a variation of the previous lenses and an associate in her office told me "just war readers." Well if I wanted that I would have gotten them. I heard that there were true bi-focal contacts that work just like bifocal glasses and I will have my good far vision while having good up close vision as well. Before I go get another eye test and try new lenses, are there really such lenses, what are they and how do they work?
Dr. Rick :

Hi. My name is***** and I have two decades of ophthalmology experience. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

yes. there are true bifocal contact lenses made.

Dr. Rick :

They will give you good distance and good near vision but, due to the physics of optics, your intermediate vision may suffer.

Dr. Rick :

Here is a brand that I have personally used and found to be excellent:

Customer:

Thanks Doc. By intermediate vision may suffer, what does that actually mean?

Dr. Rick :

It means distances like the dash of your car. But, at your age that really shouldn't be a problem.....yet ;)

Dr. Rick :

To have clear distance, intermediate and close vision requires trifocals or progressive lenses....

Customer:

Are there tri focal or progressive contacts?

Dr. Rick :

But nothing is free....you loose contrast sensitivity with these lenses......some loss of clarity at night etc...

Dr. Rick :

You optometrist should be able to help you select a lens that will work well for you.

Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else you would like to discuss at this point or have all your questions been answered to your satisfaction?

Customer:

Interesting. The two optometrists I saw made it sound like the only options I had were what they gave me. Will the prescription they gave me for the monovisions be the same as what I would need for the tri or bi focals?

Dr. Rick :

No. The tri and bifocal lenses require careful and extensive fitting in the office to get them right. There is no way to use your other contact data to select the correct lenses.

Dr. Rick :

Perhaps you need to go to an eye doctor who is experienced in bifocal contact lenses and enjoys the extra clinical challenge of getting them fit correctly.

Customer:

Yes. Seems like everyone I go to just hawks the monovision. I'll "look" around for one that can do real bi or tri focals. Thanks Doc.

Dr. Rick :

Sounds like the optometrists you went to were only interested in giving choices in the lenses they had in stock....instead of the lenses that would work best for you, even if they had to order them

Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr.Rick. I found my last prescription for contacts. Are these the dailies progressives you were talking about, or are these different?

Brand: Ciba Alcon

Lens type: Air Optix Multifocal

BC: 8.6

Dia: 14.2
Sphere: -2.00 high add, -2.25 low add

Guy,
Those are a very good lens and a daily wear progressive that I would wear if I needed contacts at this stage in my life. So, in that way, yes, there are very similar to the type that I was talking about earlier.
Any luck finding an optometrist who is willing to give you the extra time and service so you can wear bifocal/progressive contacts?
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes I did but I wanted more info so I wouldn't suckered into what I was given previously.Thanks doc.

Smart man....glad I could help.
Have a good weekend.