To evaluate the optical power profiles of commercially available soft multifocal contact lenses and compare their optical designs.Methods
The power profiles of 38 types of multifocal contact lenses—three lenses each—were measured in powers +6D, +3D, +1D, −1D, −3D, and −6D using NIMO TR1504 (Lambda-X, Belgium). All lenses were measured in phosphate buffered saline across 8 mm optic zone diameter. Refractive index of each lens material was measured using CLR 12-70 (Index Instruments, UK), which was used for converting measured power in the medium to in-air radial power profiles.Results
Three basic types of power profiles were identified: center-near, center-distance, and concentric-zone ring-type designs. For most of the lens types, the relative plus with respect to prescription power was lower than the corresponding spectacle add. For some lens types, the measured power profiles were shifted by up to 1D across the power range relative to their labeled power. Most of the lenses were designed with noticeable amounts of spherical aberration. The sign and magnitude of spherical aberration can either be power dependent or consistent across the power range.Conclusions
Power profiles can vary widely between the different lens types; however, certain similarities were also observed between some of the center-near designs. For the more recently released lens types, there seems to be a trend emerging to reduce the relative plus with respect to prescription power, include negative spherical aberration, and keep the power profiles consistent across the power range.