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Contact Lenses for Astigmatism (Torics) and Presbyopia (Multi-Focals)

For those with astigmatism (a condition where the front of the eye isn’t perfectly spherical) Armstrong & Small Eyecare Centre offers may different disposable modalities. These types of lenses are often referred to as toric and are available in daily, 2-week and monthly replacement.

Multifocal contact lenses

Once we reach our mid-40s, presbyopia - the normal, age-related loss of flexibility of the lens inside our eye - makes it difficult for us to focus on near objects. In the past, reading glasses were the only option available to contact lens wearers who wanted to read a menu or do other everyday tasks that require good near vision.

But today, a number of multifocal contact lens options are available for you to consider. Expectations are very important when it comes to fitting these lenses. Ideally the optometrist’s goal is to give you the best vision possible for both distance and near.

Multi-focals are now available in each of the disposable modalities: daily 1-day use, 2 week replacement and monthly replacement.

Most multi-focal contact lenses are now designed using a “center-surround design”.  This means that your vision is somewhat determined by your pupil size.  Imagine a smaller central zone within the contact lens that has your near vision correction in it.  When we read, our pupil gets smaller and this helps to focus through the near portion of the lens when reading.  Good lighting helps in this case as it will also help to shrink your pupil.  When you opt to look far away, your pupil naturally enlarges and you end up getting more of the distance ring zone. Obviously when looking far away you are also looking through a portion of the near button. This is the part that will take some getting used to. The analogy is often compared to looking through a screened window; you can either choose to look through the screen or focus on the screen itself.

Multi-Focals for Astigmatism? No problem.

Although this makes the fitting process somewhat more challenging, multifocal lenses are available in what is called toric design that will correct the patient’s astigmatism their need to see at distance and near


Until you have a contact lens fitting, there's no way to know for sure if you'll be able to successfully adapt to wearing multifocal contact lenses. If multifocal lenses aren't comfortable or don't give you adequate vision, a monovision contact lens fitting may be a good alternative.

Monovision uses your dominant eye for distance vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision. Right-handed people tend to be right-eye dominant and left-handed folks left-eye dominant. But your eye care professional will perform testing to make that determination.

Usually, single vision contact lenses are used for monovision. But in some cases, better results can be achieved using a single vision lens on the dominant eye for distance vision and a multifocal lens on the other eye for intermediate and near vision. Other times, your eyecare professional may choose a distance-biased multifocal on your dominant eye and a near-biased multifocal on the other eye. These techniques are referred to as "modified monovision" fits.