Through-focus performance with multifocal contact lenses : effect of binocularity, pupil diameter and inherent ocular aberrations

Plainis, Sotiris, Ntzilepis, George, Atchison, David A., & Charman, W. Neil (2013) Through-focus performance with multifocal contact lenses : effect of binocularity, pupil diameter and inherent ocular aberrations. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 33(1), pp. 42-50.

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to evaluate the effects of the wearer’s pupil size and spherical aberration on visual performance with centre-near, aspheric multifocal contact lenses (MFCLs). The advantage of binocular over monocular vision was also investigated.


Twelve young volunteers, with an average age of 27±5 years, participated in the study. LogMAR Visual Acuity (VA) was measured under cycloplegia for a range of defocus levels (from +3.0 to -3.0D, in 0.5D steps) with no correction and with three aspheric MFCLs (Air Optix Aqua Multifocal, Ciba Vision, Duluth, GA, US) with a centre-near design, providing correction for “Low”, “Med” and “High” near demands. Measurements were performed for all combinations of the following conditions: i) artificial pupils of 6mm and 3mm diameter, ii) binocular and monocular (dominant eye) vision. Depth-of-focus (DOF) was calculated from the VA vs. defocus curves. Ocular aberrations under cycloplegia were measured using iTrace.


VA at -3.0D defocus (simulating near performance) was statistically higher for the 3mm than for the 6mm pupil (p=0.006), and for binocular rather than for monocular vision (p<0.001). Similarly, DOF was better for the 3mm pupil (p=0.002) and for binocular viewing conditions (p<0.001, ANOVA). Both VA at –3.0D defocus and DOF increased as the “addition” of the MFCL correction increased. Finally, with the centre-near MFCLs a linear correlation was found between VA at –3.0D defocus and the wearer’s ocular spherical aberration (R2=0.20 p<0.001 for 6mm data), with the eyes exhibiting the higher positive spherical aberration experiencing lower VAs. By contrast, no correlation was found between VA and spherical aberration at 0.00D defocus (distance vision).


Both near VA and depth-of-focus improve with these MFCLs, with the effects being more pronounced for small pupils and binocular than for monocular vision. Coupling of the wearer’s ocular spherical aberration with the aberration profiles provided by MFCLs affects their functionality.

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ID Code: 64948
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: multifocal contact lenses, visual acuity, depth-of-focus, spherical aberration
DOI: 10.1111/opo.12004
ISSN: 1475-1313
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The College of Optometrists
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2013 00:48
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2014 21:19

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