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April 1, 1983

Lenses and Neck Pain

Author Affiliations

The Arthritis Center Wichita, Kan

JAMA. 1983;249(13):1707-1708. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330370021012

To the Editor.—  When patients come to an outpatient clinic complaining of neck pain, it is often possible to obtain a history of recent change to bifocal or trifocal lenses. Such lenses, by causing hyperextension of the neck, have been proposed as causes of cervical pain,1-3 although no studies have confirmed this relationship. To seek evidence for such an association, we undertook a preliminary survey of 1,000 consecutive patients seen in an outpatient rheumatic disease clinic, including 74 with primary complaints of neck pain, 248 with rheumatoid arthritis, and 208 with osteoarthritis, tabulating the frequency of neck pain and the type of lenses worn. We were unable to discern any statistical relationship between the type of lenses used and the presence of neck pain in the group as a whole or in any of the subgroups after correcting for the effects of age and sex. Although it is possible