Power profiles of single vision and multifocal soft contact lenses

Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2015 Feb;38(1):2-14. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2014.07.008. Epub 2014 Aug 16.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the optical zone power profile of the most commonly prescribed soft contact lenses to assess their potential impact on peripheral refractive error and hence myopia progression.

Methods: The optical power profiles of six single vision and ten multifocal contact lenses of five manufacturers in the powers -1.00 D, -3.00 D, and -6.00 D were measured using the SHSOphthalmic (Optocraft GmbH, Erlangen, Germany). Instrument repeatability was also investigated.

Results: Instrument repeatability was dependent on the distance from the optical centre, manifesting unreliable data for the central 1mm of the optic zone. Single vision contact lens measurements of -6.00 D lenses revealed omafilcon A having the most negative spherical aberration, lotrafilcon A having the least. Somofilcon A had the highest minus power and lotrafilcon A the biggest deviation in positive direction, relative to their respective labelled powers. Negative spherical aberration occurred for almost all of the multifocal contact lenses, including the centre-distance designs etafilcon A bifocal and omafilcon A multifocal. Lotrafilcon B and balafilcon A seem to rely predominantly on the spherical aberration component to provide multifocality.

Conclusions: Power profiles of single vision soft contact lenses varied greatly, many having a negative spherical aberration profile that would exacerbate myopia. Some lens types and powers are affected by large intra-batch variability or power offsets of more than 0.25 dioptres. Evaluation of power profiles of multifocal lenses was derived that provides helpful information for prescribing lenses for presbyopes and progressing myopes.

Keywords: Multifocal contact lenses; Power profiles; Soft contact lenses; Spherical aberration.

MeSH terms

  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic*
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology*
  • Refractive Errors / physiopathology
  • Refractive Errors / therapy*
  • Reproducibility of Results