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Can I Wear Contacts If I Need Bifocals?

I Need Bifocals – But I Don’t Want Glasses!

We all get to that point in life – the average person starts needing bifocals in their late 30s or early 40s. But what if you’re just sick of wearing glasses? What if you’ve never worn glasses and you don’t want to start now? Or what if you’ve worn and loved contacts for years and you aren’t ready to give them up? Are bifocal or progressive glasses the only solution? We have a lot of people who ask, “can I wear contacts if I need bifocals?”.

The short answer is YES. You can definitely wear contacts even if you need help with your up close reading and computer vision. That being said, every person is different, and no particular contact is a one size fits all answer. The key is in finding which is the best way for you as an individual to accomplish getting good distance and near vision with contacts.

Three Ways To Wear Contacts For Distance And Near Vision

There are three ways contacts can be prescribed to give you the combination of distance and near vision, and honestly, no one way is better than another, it just depends on you as a person.


Monovision is when you wear one contact that is designated for distance, and another in the opposite eye for reading. Sounds kinda wonky, but it works for about 80% of the people who try it. It’s not that you literally only see out of one eye for each distance, but just that your brain adjusts to one eye being dominant for far vision and the other for reading. Monovision is usually the simplest solution to the issue if someone can get used to it. Some people do and some people don’t, and the only way you can know is to try it!

Distance Contacts With Readers

The second solution is to wear two distance contacts and slip over-the-counter readers on when you need to read or use the computer. This works well for people who don’t mind wearing a light pair of glasses or who rely more heavily on distance vision than near vision in their daily lives. If you’re a big reader or you switch back and forth between distances a lot during your workday, however, this kind of defeats the purpose of having contacts in the first place.

Bifocal Contacts

The third answer is to try bifocal contacts. Bifocal contacts work on the principle of concentric circles. When we begin to read or concentrate on something up close, three things happen:

-Our eyes focus

-Our eyes pull together

-Our pupils constrict

Bifocal contacts contain the most reading power directly in the center of the lens, so that when these three things happen you are looking through the bifocal power. As you look far away, your eyes relax and your pupils return to their normal size, allowing you to look around the center circles of reading power. Your eyes will then take advantage of the outer circles which contain your distance prescription.

“Can I Wear Contacts If I Need Bifocals?” Let us help!

Keep in mind that everyone is different, and what works for one doesn’t work for all. But between these three options, the majority of people find a way to make contacts work for both their distance and near vision. At Vision Source Titusville, our doctors are happy to sit down with you and discuss which may be the best option! We’ll do an evaluation of your eyes and vision, let you choose which route you’d like to go with, and give you some trials to test out. If one way doesn’t work, we’ll try another!

If you’re wondering “can I wear contacts if I need bifocals?” the answer is yes! Let us help you find the best way for you to achieve excellent vision with contacts. Click here to request your contact lens evaluation!