The changing performance of multifocal contact lenses compared to monovision

Woods , Craig A., Efron, Nathan, & Morgan, Philip B. (2011) The changing performance of multifocal contact lenses compared to monovision. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 52 (6542 ), D1006.

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  • Multifocal contact lenses (MCLs) have been available for decades. A review of the literature suggests that while, historically, these lenses have been partially successful, they have struggled to compete with monovision (MV). More recent publications suggest that there has been an improvement in the performance of these lenses. This study set out to investigate whether the apparent improved lens performance reported in the literature is reflected in clinical practice.


  • Data collected over the last 5yrs via the International Contact Lens Prescribing Survey Consortium was reviewed for patients over the age of 45yrs. The published reports of clinical trials were reviewed to assess lens performance over the time period.


  • Data review was of 16,680 presbyopic lens fits in 38 countries. The results are that 29% were fit with MCLs, 8% MV and 63% single vision (SV). A previous survey conducted in Australia during 1988-89 reported that 9% of presbyopes were fit with MCLs, 29% MV and 63% SV. The results from our survey for Australia alone were 28% (MV 13%) vs 9% (MV 29%) suggesting an increase in usage of MCLs from 1988-89 to 2010. A review of the literature indicates the reported level of visual acuities with MCLs in comparison to MV has remained equivalent over this time period, yet preference has switch from MV to MCLs.


  • There is evidence that currently more MCLs than MV are being fit to presbyopes, compared to 1988-89. This increased use is likely due to the improved visual performance of these lenses, which is not demonstrated with acuity measures but reported by wearers, suggesting that patient-based subjective ratings are currently the best way to measure visual performance.

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ID Code: 67981
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract
Keywords: contact lens • presbyopia • visual acuity
ISSN: 1552-5783
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Deposited On: 03 Mar 2014 04:34
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2016 05:05

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