Purpose: The purpose of this study was to assess visual performance and patient satisfaction with two presbyopic soft contact lens modalities.
Methods: A crossover study of 38 patients with presbyopia was conducted. Patients were randomized first into either multifocal (Bausch & Lomb SofLens Multifocal) or monovision (SofLens 59) for 1 month. Visual performance was measured with high- and low-contrast visual acuity at distance and near and near stereoacuity. Patients' satisfaction was measured by the National Eye Institute Refractive Error Quality of Life Instrument questionnaire and by recording the patient's final lens preference.
Results: Patients maintained at least 20/20 binocular vision with both multifocal (MF) and monovision (MV) contact lenses under high-contrast conditions at distance and near. Under low-contrast conditions, patients lost less than a line of vision from the best spectacle correction to either multifocal or monovision contact lens correction at distance (pMF = 0.001, pMV = 0.006). Under low-contrast conditions at near, multifocal wearers lost five to six letters and monovision wearers lost two letters of vision (pMF < 0.001, pMV = 0.03, pMF/MV = 0.005). The average stereoacuity decreased by 79 s arc with monovision vs. multifocal contact lenses (p = 0.002). On the NEI-RQL, patients reported worse clarity of vision (pMF = 0.01, pMV < 0.001), more symptoms (pMF = 0.09, pMV = 0.01), and an improvement in their appearance with contact lens wear (pMF < 0.001, pMV < 0.001). Seventy-six percent of patients reported that they preferred multifocal contact lenses, and 24% preferred monovision contact lenses (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: The majority of our patients preferred multifocals to monovision, most likely because the Bausch & Lomb SofLens Multifocal provides excellent visual acuity without compromising stereoacuity to the same degree as monovision.