Visit our 2 convenient locations!

5900 Heckert Rd.
P.O. Box 324
Bakerstown, PA 15007
724-443-6767 Phone
724-443-6730 Fax

4001 Freeport Rd.
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
724-226-0444 Phone
724-226-0744 Fax


Bifocal Contact Lenses & Aging

Your eyesight is the key to independence as we age and although bifocal contact lenses have been around for many years, until recently they weren’t very popular. New technology has changed that is bringing to market a greater variety of designs. If one design or brand doesn’t work for you, another might. People who once thought they could never benefit from contact lenses now have a second chance.

Often after the age of 40 people develop presbyopia, a condition that affects our ability to focus on objects that are nearby. Do you have a separate pair of glasses for reading or working on the computer? Do you find your arms getting shorter as you must hold newspapers, books, or menus further away to be able to see the print better? Bifocal contact lenses are great for people with active lifestyles who do not want to be chained to their reading glasses.

There are several different types of contacts that can be used to find what works best for you to replace your need for reading glasses or bifocals. The doctors at Bissell Eye Care can give a proper diagnosis as well as help you find the best treatment options.

Concentric multifocal contact lens design contains the lens power for seeing distant objects in the center of the lens, which is surrounded by concentric rings of near and distance powers of your bifocal contact lens prescription.

The design of aspheric multifocal contact lenses is similar to that of progressive eyeglass lenses — there’s a gradual change in power from far to near, with no visible lines in the lenses. Unlike eyeglasses, however, aspheric multifocal contacts are simultaneous vision lenses, so your visual system must learn to select the proper lens power for the moment.

There are no hard and fast rules, but aspheric multifocal contact lenses tend to work best for mild to moderate presbyopia, and concentric or segmented multifocal contacts often are more successful for advanced presbyopia.

Bifocal and multifocal lenses come in both soft and rigid gas permeable materials. They also come in a hybrid form. This means that the contacts have the option to be used and disposed of at set times, and can even be daily in some cases.

What is the difference……Bifocal, Multifocal contacts?

Bifocal contact lenses have two different prescriptions in the same lens. They are similar to bifocal glasses where the top half is used for seeing far while the bottom is used for seeing close. A segmented bifocal, and sometimes also referred to as an alternating or translating bifocal places the near vision prescription in the lower part of the lens, and the normal, distance prescription is in the rest of the lens.

Multifocal Contact Lenses and how they work

Multifocal contacts have a range of powers in each lens and are designed in two different ways.

  1. Simultaneous Vision. This option is set up so your eye looks through both near and far at the same time. Your brain adapts and allows focus on either the near or far prescription depending on the distance of the object.
  2. Alternating Vision. In the alternation setup is more like a bifocal glasses design. It allows your pupil to move up or down as necessary to get the proper focus.

If you’re tired of carrying around two pairs of glasses, or have tried bi-focal contacts years ago but couldn’t wear them, technology has changed. The doctors at Bissell Eye Care will work with you to see how bi-focal contact lenses can benefit you.

Embrace something new and experience the freedom of not having to wear glasses. Are you ready to enjoy outdoor activities such as gardening and sports more easily? To learn more about the latest technology in bi-focal contact lenses, give our office a call at 724-444-6767 or 724-226-0444.

About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.