Effects of multifocal soft contact lenses used to slow myopia progression on quality of vision in young adults

Acta Ophthalmol. 2017 Feb;95(1):e43-e53. doi: 10.1111/aos.13173. Epub 2016 Aug 6.


Purpose: To assess the effects of multifocal soft contact lenses (MF SCLs) used for myopia control on visual acuity (VA) and subjective quality of vision.

Methods: Twenty-four young adult myopes had baseline high and low-contrast VAs and refractions measured and quality of vision assessed by the Quality of Vision (QoV) questionnaire with single vision SCLs. Additional VA and QoV questionnaire data were collected immediately after subjects were fitted with Proclear MF SCLs and again after a 2-week adaptation period of daily lens wear. Data were collected for two MF SCL designs, incorporating +1.50 and +3.00 D peripheral near additions, with a week washout period allowed between the two lens trials.

Results: High- and low-contrast VAs were initially reduced with both MF SCL designs, but subsequently improved to be not significantly reduced in the case of high-contrast VA by the end of the 2-week adaptation period. The quality of vision was also reduced, more so with the +3.00 D MF SCL. Quality of Vision (QoV) scores describing frequency, severity and bothersome nature of visual symptoms indicated symptoms worsening rather than resolving over the 2-week period, particularly so with the +3.00 D MF SCL.

Conclusion: Low and high add MF SCLs adversely affected vision on initial insertion, with sustained effects on low-contrast VA and QoV scores but not high-contrast VA. Thus, high-contrast VA is not a suitable surrogate for quality of vision. In prescribing MF SCLs for myopia control, clinicians should educate patients about these effects on vision.

Keywords: multifocal soft contact lenses; myopia; quality of vision; visual acuity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic*
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glare
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myopia / diagnosis
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Myopia / therapy*
  • Prosthesis Fitting
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Vision Disorders / therapy*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology*
  • Young Adult