Purpose: As a result of lens design limitations, progressive addition lenses (PAL's) present a limited field of view for tasks at intermediate distances, such as with computers. To assess whether this limitation results in diminished visual performance, PAL's were compared with single-vision lenses in four different types of reading tasks in a computer workplace environment.
Methods: Adult subjects performed four computer-based reading tasks using both single-vision lenses and PAL's at an intermediate distance of 64 cm.
Results: Single-vision lenses performed significantly better than PAL's in one task, with a trend for better performance in another task. There was no difference in performance for the remaining two tasks.
Conclusions: Visual performance tests that involved stimuli subtending the widest visual angles and demanded more fixational shifts were more sensitive in discerning performance differences between the lens designs. In general, PAL's showed marginally diminished performance compared with single-vision lenses, presumably due to their restricted intermediate channel.