RGP Multifocal Contact Lenses

RGP multifocal contact lenses

In our previous article, we have explained more about soft multifocal contact lenses. However, what if you are not suitable for soft multifocal? Will RGP (Rigid gas permeable) multifocal be suitable for you?

Why do you experience blurry vision for soft multifocal

Not everyone is suitable for soft multifocal contact lenses. You might experience blurry vision for distance, near or both. You might find that the vision with soft multifocal is manageable but still not as sharp as your current spectacle or contact lenses.

These are due to the design of soft multifocal contact lenses.

How does soft multifocal contact lenses work?

For soft multifocal, the central is for either distance / near vision and there is a gradual change in power towards the peripheral. This is known as aspheric lens design. For most soft multifocal, it is usually center near.

Soft multifocal utilize simultaneous vision. For simultaneous vision, wearers will be looking through different powers at the same time. The brain will need to determine to look at which power at each distance. The brain will need to adapt to simultaneous vision. Hence, there are chances whereby wearers are unable to adapt to soft multifocal due to the design.

What if you are not suitable for soft multifocal

RGP multifocal can be suitable for you if you are not suitable for soft multifocal. Because of the design of RGP multifocal, it is able to provide clear vision for distance and near.

How does RGP multifocal contact lenses work?

The center of RGP multifocal will be for distance vision while the peripheral portion of the lens will be for near vision.

RGP multifocal utilize alternating vision. For alternating vision, wearers can switch between 2 powers. When looking straight, you will be able to have clear distance vision. Also, while having a downward gaze, you will be able have clear near vision. At a downward gaze, your lower eyelids will push the RGP multifocal higher and you will be looking through the near zone of the lens.

The image on the left shows the distance optical zone covering the pupil when looking straight-ahead, which results in clear distance vision.

The image on the right shows the near optical zone covering the pupils when looking down, which results in clear near vision.

Why is RGP multifocal clearer than Soft multifocal?

RGP multifocal is able to provide clearer distance and near vision than soft multifocal.

This is due to the design of the RGP multifocal. RGP utilizes alternating vision while soft multifocal utilizes simultaneous vision.

With alternating vision, the brain adapt faster as compared to soft multifocal which uses simultaneous vision.

Hence, for wearers who are not suitable for soft multifocal, can be a good candidate for RGP multifocal.

Pros and Cons of Soft and RGP multifocal

Soft multifocal contact lenses

The initial comfort is better than RGP multifocal.

However, during the adaptation period, the vision for distance or near might be blurry. With time, the vision will be clearer as the brain adapt to the lenses.

There are also chances whereby the brain is not able to adapt and patient will experience constant blurriness. This is due to the design of soft multifocal (simultaneous vision) as mentioned previously.

For wearers who cannot adapt to soft multifocal, RGP multifocal can be suitable for you as it has a different multifocal design which requires minimal adaptation.

Also, for wearers with astigmatism, soft multifocal might not be suitable for you as soft multifocal with astigmatism is not available in Singapore yet.

RGP multifocal contact lenses

RGP multifocal may be suitable for wearers with small amount of astigmatism. It corrects the astigmatism by utilizing tear lens (tears between the eye and the RGP lens). The amount of astigmatism which can be corrected depends on what kind astigmatism it is.

As compared to soft multifocal, RGP multifocal provides better clarity for distance and near vision and minimal adaptation is required. These are due to the the lens design of RGP multifocal which uses alternating vision.

It allows more oxygen to reach the eye due to the lens material and smaller lens size. As RGP lenses are smaller, they cover lesser area of the eye.

It is more durable and does not tear as easily as soft lenses.

For first timers, upon inserting the lens, there will be more lens awareness as compared to soft multifocal. However, after few minutes of lens wear, there will be lesser lens awareness. 

Who is suitable for RGP multifocal contact lenses?

In our previous article on Progressive Contact Lenses or Multifocal for Presbyopia, we have mentioned who are suitable for multifocal:

  1. Early Presbyopes in 30s, Presbyopes aged 40 and above
  2. Existing contact lens wearer
  3. Monovision users
  4. Spectacle wearers, first time contact lenses wearer
  5. People with no distance prescription

Other than these, RGP multifocal are also suitable for:

Current Soft Multifocal Contact Lens wearer

For current soft multifocal lens wearers, you might experience distance and/or near vision not as sharp as your spectacle. You may still experience blurry near vision even after trying the highest add available for soft multifocal.

If you are not satisfied with your current vision with soft multifocal lenses, RGP multifocal can be suitable and may provide you with sharper vision.

Even for current soft multifocal lens wearers who are satisfied with the vision, RGP multifocal can be suitable for you too. Other than providing better clarity, RGP contact lenses also allows more oxygen to reach your eyes, which will benefit your eye health.

Presbyopes who cannot adapt to Soft Multifocal Contact Lens

Not all presbyopic patients can adapt to soft multifocal contact lens. We do see patients who are interested in multifocal lenses.

However, after trying out soft multifocal lenses, their vision were not good. Even after refining the prescription, the vision was still not satisfactory for them. Their vision could be blurry either for the distance, near or both.

Presbyopes who cannot adapt (not suitable) for soft multifocal, can be suitable and can benefit from RGP multifocal.

How RGP multifocal can benefit you

Recently, we had a presbyopic customer who wants to try contact lenses for his sports activities.

We fitted him with soft multifocal contact lenses. Despite refining the prescription, the vision was not satisfactory for him. He finds the near vision blurry even though the contact lenses were at the highest add. Hence, he was not suitable for soft multifocal.

We also fitted him with monovision. For him, the near vision for monovision was clearer than soft multifocal. However, it was still not very sharp.

Later, we fitted him with RGP multifocal. He experienced clear distance and near vision with RGP multifocal. For him, the vision RGP multifocal provided was better than soft multifocal and monovision. He was satisfied with the clear vision that RGP multifocal provided him with.

Progressive Contact Lenses

RGP multifocal available @Evershine Optical

At Evershine Optical, our optometrists do fitting for RGP multifocal. Our lens of choice now is Menifocal Z from Menicon.

It is important to do a fitting session for RGP multifocal.

Even if the power of the lens is correct, the size of the contact lens and the way it sits on your eyes can also affect your vision. You might experience blur distance vision but clear near vision, clear distance vision but blur near vision or blurry distance and near vision. Our optometrists will then adjust the prescription and the parameters of the lens to ensure both clear distance and near vision for you.

Book an appointment or WhatsApp at +6588461234 us to find out more about RGP multifocal.