Axis-free correction of astigmatism using bifocal soft contact lenses

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Purpose Pilot study to investigate the feasibility of an axis-free correction approach of regular astigmatism using soft, bifocal contact lenses (CL). Methods The investigation covers an optical simulation and a pilot study for the assessment of visual performance (over refraction OR, monocular visual acuity VA). The power of the two zones was adjusted according to the power of the astigmatic meridians, individually. Subjective performance was assessed in 30 participants with a mean horizontal cylindrical component of J0 = − 0.65 ± 1.29 D (cylinder from −0.75 to −4.00 DC). OR and VA were measured directly after fitting the CL, after one hour and after 5 days (3FUP). Results Evaluating the modulation transfer function, CL increased the Strehl ratio by 10% and the transferred spatial frequency was improved from 6.6 cpd to 21.3 cpd. Analysis of Sturm's interval revealed a residual astigmatism of DAst = 0.73 D. OR revealed a statistically significant reduction of spherical error between baseline and all follow up (ΔM = −2.14 D, p < 0.001) and between the J0 from baseline to 3FUP (ΔJ0 = −0.46 D, p = 0.04). Wearing the CL for 5 days did not result in a significant difference of VA (ΔVA3FUP = +0.01 logMAR, p = 0.99). Conclusion Axis-free correction of astigmatism using bifocal CL resulted in reasonable performance based on computer simulation. Participants showed no clinically reduced visual acuity or contrast sensitivity. Further clinical studies are needed to show if this approach provides a good alternative to conventional astigmatic correction.




Leube, A., Kovats, I., Wahl, S., & Sickenberger, W. (2017). Axis-free correction of astigmatism using bifocal soft contact lenses. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, 40(6), 394–400.

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