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August 1992

Contrast Sensitivity and Reading Through Multifocal Intraocular Lenses

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Messrs Akutsu and Showalter and Dr Legge); Phillips Eye Institute, Center for Teaching and Research, Minneapolis (Drs Lindstrom and Zabel); and 3M Vision Care, St Paul, Minn (Ms Kirby).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(8):1076-1080. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080200056024

• Multifocal intraocular lenses are intended to increase depth of focus for patients with cataracts, but optical considerations predict reduced retinal-image contrast. We evaluated visual performance through multifocal intraocular lenses by measuring contrast sensitivity functions and reading speed for agematched groups with multifocal and monofocal intraocular lenses and two normal control groups. Contrast sensitivity functions of the patients with multifocal lenses did not differ significantly for optical distances differing by 2.5 diopters, indicating substantial depth of focus. Normal and monofocal contrast sensitivity functions were nearly identical, and both were about a factor of two higher than multifocal contrast sensitivity functions. Patients with multifocal lenses showed deficits in reading speed only for lowcontrast text (<30%) and small letters (0.2° and 1.0°).