As we get older, the ability of the lens inside our eye (behind the pupil) to change shape to allow us to focus light rays from objects from the far distance or near to us, naturally decreases. By the time we are about 40-45 years of age, there is a need for a separate correction for distance and near tasks. It can be frustrating having to change our correction every time we want to glance in the distance while performing a near task (such as when using a computer) or read something when we are talking to someone across a table (such as reading a menu). People who wear spectacles often wear bifocals (where there is a segment in their glasses which they look through for near tasks) or varifocals (sometimes called multifocals) where the power, and hence the distance to which the glasses focus, changes progressively as the person looks through different positions on the lens.
Over the past decade, many options have become available to people who want to wear contact lenses to provide both distance and near vision. These lenses all have a slight compromise compared to our natural ability to focus on both near and distance objects. This type of lens works by placing both distance and near refractive error correction areas in front of the pupil (the window to the eye) and the brain selects the image appropriate to the distance of the object the eyes are looking at. These lenses, whether soft or rigid in design, are more complex and may take longer to be fitted than basic contact lenses. New designs are becoming available so even if they have not worked for you in the past, they are worth having another try.