Purpose: To evaluate different aspects of the visual-related quality of life using the National Eye Institute Refractive Error Quality of Life (NEI RQL)-42 questionnaire in low and moderate myopic subjects corrected with different refractive treatments including laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), orthokeratology (OK), soft contact lenses (SCLs), and spectacles.
Methods: The NEI RQL-42 questionnaire was administered to 217 subjects at one single clinic. All the questions consisted of 13 different subscales that were analyzed separately. The results from subjects with -1.00 to -3.00 diopter myopia corrected with LASIK (n=41), OK (n=37), SCLs (n=44), or spectacles (n=45) were compared with each other and with emmetropic subjects (n=50).
Results: Statistically significant differences among all groups were found in all subscales, except for satisfaction with correction (P=0.135). The average decrease in quality of life compared with emmetropes were -7.1% (P=0.021) for LASIK, -13.0% (P<0.001) for OK, -15.8% (P<0.001) for spectacles, and -17.3% (P<0.001) for SCLs.
Conclusions: Although all patients in each group were considered to be successfully visually corrected, quality of life related to vision was markedly different in certain NEI RQL-42 categories. LASIK showed the lowest average decrease in quality of vision compared with emmetropes. OK was comparable with LASIK in independence of visual correction, and SCL wear was superior to LASIK and OK lens wear in glare. Except for glare and diurnal fluctuations, contact lenses (SCL and OK) were comparable with or superior to spectacle correction.