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Monovision is a way to get bifocal vision with your contact lenses, without using a bifocal contact lens. It works like this - you wear one contact lens for distance vision, and the other (with a different prescription) for near vision. Not everybody can get used to using one eye for far and one for near, but surprisungly about 4 out of 5 can.
Until recently people who wore contacts to see distant objects and also needed vision correction to read had to wear reading glasses over their contact lenses. Recently bifocal contact lenses have become more comfortable, advanced, and less expensive. Bifocal contact lenses are available in both rigid gas permeable or soft lens designs. However, these are typically very expensive.