Task and Visual Performance with Concentric Bifocal Contact Lenses

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We evaluated the effects of concentric simultaneous vision bifocal contact lenses on task performance, visual acuity, and stereopsis. Forty extensively screened presbyopes were fitted with CIBA Spectrum centernear bifocal contact lenses (BCL) and with distant contact lenses combined with reading spectacles (DCL) which served as the control. Thirty-two subjects completed the 8-week study. At dispensing and after 8 weeks of regular BCL wear, performance times with BCL were significantly greater than with DCL for all three near tasks. BCL generally resulted in more errors per trial. Visual acuities with BCL were reduced significantly by 0.8 to 1.4 acuity lines compared to DCL. Stereopsis was reduced significantly by 32 to 36 sec arc with BCL compared to DCL at both measurement sessions. It is likely that the decreased task performance with the simultaneous vision BCL is caused by the decreased visual acuity with these lenses. Nonetheless, 27 patients (58.7% of those selected to be fitted; 67.5% of those who were fitted) chose to wear the BCL on a regular basis at the study conclusion. Thus, even though BCL reduced task and visual performance, thoroughly screened and properly fitted presbyopic patients can become satisfied BCL wearers. However, the reduced task and visual performance with BCL should be considered when evaluating prospective BCL candidates.

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