Author Topic: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?  (Read 392 times)

Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« on: October 13, 2020, 12:39:07 pm »
I was a long term wearer of daily disposable lenses.  In ended up with what the optician referred to an monovision lenses.  One lens optimised for distance , the other for close up stuff.   These worked well for most general things ,  but I never found them 100% satisfactory ,  noticeably when I visited museums & galleries , I found it hard to get a clear , close view of the exhibits.


A couple of years ago I stopped using contacts, party due to the fact that they were becoming less comfortable for extended wear, partly because I was concerned about the amount of plastic waste they generate.  I've been relying on varifocal glasses ever since.


Comes COVID-19 and glasses are now a pain. The disposable masks make my glasses fog up so I can't see,  more expensive ones with a tighter seal at the nose are better, but tend to interfere with the nosepiece of my specs! 


So I'm thinking about getting some more contacts , not for daily wear , just for occasional days out. 


I've never tried the varifocal / multifocal lenses that are available  and would be interested in peoples experience with them.  In particular, how good are they at close distance stuff ?  (I'm one of those annoying people in galleries who likes to get about 30cm from the pictures to look at the detail....)
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Re: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 01:06:51 pm »
I have them. I don't like them. I'd reached the point where it is difficult to read close things with standard lenses, so these were the recommendation.

They're very good for close vision, but I find distance vision really poor. There's a narrow-ish focal spread between close and distant and I have a very high prescription. They may work better for a lower prescription. You should be able to trial them anyway. I may try a few other varieties, Vision Express seemed to exist to upsell me stuff, I'm getting around to changing opticians to something more local.
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Re: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 09:15:08 pm »
I have some multifocals. They’re OK, but not so good close up. However, I do remember a discussion with the optician about what I wanted to work well and what I could compromise on. I don’t wear them much, and not for close up use. You may be able to get a trial pack with a different bias, but it may mean that the distant view is fuzzy.

Re: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2020, 10:01:43 pm »
I've had gas-permeable multi-focals for a few years.  I was coming from a RGP mono-vision setup but as my short sight deteriorated it there was too big a differential between the two eyes.

They took a few days to get used to.  When moving focus between distance and close-up there's a delay of around half a second while the brain adjusts to what it's supposed to be concentrating on. I found this so distracting that I almost gave up, but stuck with them and now barely notice this.

Close vision isn't perfect, particularly in low light, but it's far better than it was with mono-vision.  All in all I'm happy.  It's a compromise, sure, but I can see pretty clearly everything I need for daily life (for example all the digits on my Wahoo Bolt!).

One thing worth noting when night riding.  Bright lights (e.g. undipped car headlights) refract more and dazzle.

Re: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2020, 07:42:19 am »
I use multifocals for re-enacting. As a seventeenth century cook I obviously can't wear modern glasses, but I do need to be able to read recipes.
I don't like them particularly. I've been told they are good enough for driving but only just. I will drive in them, but only short distances, such as from where we're camping to where we're actually doing the re-enacting. Any further than a couple of miles and I will wear glasses for the drive and change when I get there. I wouldn't wear them for work either.
However, I have quite a strong prescription (-4.5 and -5.5) with something like +2 for the reading bit.
I would give them a go and see.
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Re: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2020, 07:56:52 am »
I had them, but couldn't get on with them. I wear varifocal glasses.

Actually I had "monovision" lenses, where one lens is for distance (they use the dominant eye for this IIRC), and the other for close work. Problem I had was the dominance of my dominant eye was such that it never let my non-dominant eye work properly for close work.  This is an infrequent, but known issue.  (I went to The Contact Lens Practice in Birmingham, they've been experts at contacts for decades - my firt ever pair of Toric contacts were custom machined by their supplier - and eye-wateringly (pun intended) expensive at the time).

I did investigate multi-focal lenses when Specsavers started offering them, but - and a big but for me - they cannot offer Toric's in multi-focals, so distance vision would be compromised.  I chose not to proceed.  Fortunately the only thing I really want contacts for is cycling, as I'm not paying for prescription cycling glasses. My vision is acceptable enough to manage without correction the majority of the time whilst cycling.  If I'm going further afield and might need to read GPS or mapping info, I have some Toric daily disposables which are OK for mid- and long vision still (my issue being age related presbyopis), and some +1's cheapo specs to wear over them for close work.
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Re: Varifocal contact lenses. Any happy users ?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2020, 08:05:06 am »
I've had them for over 20 years (I was a test patient when Bausch & Lomb introduced them) - brilliant - the reading/distance thing just worked, no issues.

Having been a contact lens user since 1977.   I got to the point of needing reading glasses over the lenses and did that for 4 or 5 years before my optician put me in the test group. 

If you accept that the general vision with contacts is what I would call "slightly softer" the varifocals are brilliant.  I used monthly disposals for quite a while and then about 3 years ago moved to daily disposables - but:

I was seriously ill from May 2014 to Feb 2015 and didn't wear lenses at all in that time - for the very few times I drove the car I wore specs.  After that my lens wearing was reduced, partly as a change with working/lifstyle etc

For the past couple of years I've seldom worn the lenses - just specs when driving.   My sight has improved, it's an age thing (73), such that I'm "borderline legal" on driving - i.e. I can read the number plate at 25 yards (or is metres nowadays?) - I'm confident to cycle without (wearing clear or sunnies for protection) - just wear specs to drive to be on the safe side.

Give them a go!
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