Multifocal, toric, and monovision contact lenses: What's the difference?

Different Types of Contact Lenses

Multifocal, toric, and monovision contact lenses: What's the difference?

Advances in vision technology introduce expanded access to better sight with improved contact lenses. Beyond the benefits of no fogging and no splattering, the latest lenses offer unique developments that provide more precision and overall better vision for most people. Available options for anyone who chooses contacts for vision correction include toric, monovision, and multifocal technologies.

Treating Astigmatism

A surprising number of people in the United States have astigmatism, a refractive error that creates blurry vision and difficulty seeing fine details. It happens to about a third of the population, and it may coincide with near- or farsightedness or other conditions. The unique shape of a toric lens corrects for astigmatism that occurs when the cornea’s curvature requires it.

Toric contacts need a prescription and fitting by a doctor, just as all contact lenses require. An Odessa FL optometrist at Beyond 2020 Vision Specialists, conveniently located on Highway 54 near the Suncoast Expressway, makes local treatment available.

Requiring Unique Orientation

Manufacturers produce the lenses in various styles, but they have a characteristic that makes them different from others. To fit properly and correct astigmatism issues, they must remain in a particular position in the eye. Different techniques for making them stay that way produce the effect that wearers need.

The unique capacity of toric design needs precise fitting even more than other types of lenses require. An Odessa FL optometrist can ensure they fit precisely and do not slip as they produce improved visual clarity. Everyone’s eyes have specific characteristics that make each case different. Statistics from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) show that one in three Americans have vision attributes that cause some degree of astigmatism.

Considering the Options

Toric contacts offer a choice of soft or hard (rigid gas permeable) lenses, and both provide options that different wearers may prefer. The hard contacts tend to stay in place better, but they take a little longer to get accustomed to wearing. In addition, they may seem more delicate to handle and a little drier in actual use. On the other hand, soft lenses may feel more comfortable. While they can seem easier to manage in daily use, the fitting requires special care.

Choosing Contacts for Blended Vision

Astigmatism can improve with monovision toric lenses that focus on either near or far away objects or both. The lenses can also treat presbyopia, farsightedness, nearsightedness, and other conditions. While some conditions can affect the vision of young or old, presbyopia tends to occur among specific age groups. AAO cites the aging process as a likely reason why presbyopia makes seeing things up close more difficult after age 40. Clues about the changes that can affect vision start to show up when a need to hold reading materials further away makes them easier to read.

With monovision lenses, vision focuses one eye on one distance and the other on closeness. Contact wearers can discuss preferences with an Odessa FL optometrist to find the best treatment that improves vision. However, each person’s need for contacts differs, and consultation with a doctor provides information about making a vision-correcting choice.

Factoring in Distance Preferences

With blended vision, contact wearers can avoid seeing only at a distance or close-up with standard lenses. However, the technology may not work for everyone, and patients may choose to adjust vision needs as they occur by supplementing with glasses when necessary. Anyone can learn whether the monovision lens provides the best corrective vision option in consultation with an Odessa FL optometrist.

Comparing Purchase Decisions

The comparative simplicity of the monovision lenses provides some advantages that multifocal lenses do not offer. Patients can accommodate vision demands by wearing glasses, reducing potential complications. With the admission of more light, they can provide better vision even when cataracts constitute some vision issues.

Observing Trends

Price, anatomy, preferences, and other considerations make the selection of contact lenses different for each person whose eyesight needs correction. Monovision may take a little time for users to adjust to wearing them. When one eye focuses on distance and the other on close-up objects, depth perception may present some concerns. Reading glasses can provide access to the small print when necessary.

Considering the Benefits

While monovision can provide improved sight for less expense than multifocal lenses require, the newer technology represents a popular trend among contact wearers. With crafting specifically designed to combat presbyopia, the lenses may provide vision correction at any distance.

The popularity of the lenses encourages manufacturers to produce a range of product designs that provide options for vision correction. When wearing glasses no longer appeals and contact wearers want something more efficient and comfortable, multifocal lenses offer an excellent alternative.


Accommodations may need to occur when contacts do not provide the results that wearers require. When it becomes necessary to wear glasses even while wearing contacts, the need for a better way can present a reason to change. Multifocal lenses provide a desirable resolution to a persistent inconvenience.


A long-sought goal to discard glasses almost entirely provides an attractive element that many people have not experienced for years. However, even with contacts in place, wearers may need glasses to read the fine print. In addition, the small dimension of a cellphone screen may need additional vision strength, just as a computer screen often requires.


With the latest vision correction technology, contact users can avoid inconvenient practices developed over years of accommodation. For example, without needing to change glasses to see near or far, convenience dramatically increases. Even more, enjoying the vision in both eyes with the same lenses increases effectiveness after a period of adjustment.

Potential Downsides

Some users find that night vision can worsen a little, and it seems more noticeable when driving. Some people may choose to give up driving at night when age makes it less enjoyable to do so. Oncoming headlights can cause glare that creates a distraction that may include halos. While they can provide great convenience and many benefits, multifocal lenses may require reading glasses in low light conditions. While neither the multifocal lenses nor any other kind of contacts may work for everyone, a fitting process at an Odessa Fl optometrist can produce desired results even though a bit time-consuming.

Schedule an Odessa Eye Doctor Appointment

The multiple lens powers in multifocal contact lenses can help users see clearly at any distance, and peripheral vision usually improves as well. With advanced technology and enhanced capability, they can require more maintenance than less sophisticated lenses. An array of choices can provide the vision correction that enhances the quality of life. We know that everyone has unique vision needs. If you have any questions, please schedule an appointment or call our office at 813-926-5993.