Introduction to the Multifocal Contact Lens Simulator

The History of SpecialEyes’ Multifocal Contact Lens Simulator

SpecialEyes recently introduced an online Multifocal Simulator tool to assist eye care professionals and educators in the design and prescribing of the 54 Multifocal contact lens. Our consultants use this software program in-house to design and troubleshoot custom multifocal lenses. We feel the multifocal contact lens simulator can also be an excellent tool to communicate with patients and assist in setting realistic expectations. The following posts in this series, will provide a more in depth description of its controls, how to interpret the images, as well as case studies demonstrating its clinical application. For now, let’s discuss the history behind its development.

The Backstory
When we first launched the 54 Multifocal contact lens, we took a standard fitting approach to the multifocal optics in the lens. The majority of our trial lenses started with a 2.0mm near-center zone and 4.0mm peripheral zone. The 4.0mm peripheral zone is the point in the lens at which full distance power is reached. With this methodology, our consultants found that patients with average-sized pupils (in regular room illumination) experienced optimal visual performance with the lens and were successful very quickly, resulting in a supply of lenses being ordered with either no remakes or only one remake lens.

However, we noticed that patients with smaller pupils suffered visually at distance while patients with larger pupils experienced suboptimal near and intermediate vision and a slight degradation in distance vision. To address the needs of these patients, we redesigned the multifocal optics by adjusting the center zone and/or peripheral zone to accommodate the smaller or larger pupil, which allowed us to obtain optimal visual acuity.

We then asked our optical physicist to calculate simulations at a +2.00 add power for multiple pupil sizes based on our standard multifocal contact lens design (2.0mm near-center zone and 4.0mm peripheral zone). The results supported our anecdotal evidence and led to the development of the SpecialEyes Multifocal Simulator. This marked the transition to a more effective pupil-size fitting methodology.

Our goals in implementing the multifocal contact lens simulator are threefold:
1. Achieve a successful custom soft multifocal contact lens design more quickly.
2. Reduce the number of office visits and lens remakes required for a successful fit.
3. Provide a way to evaluate and alter the multifocal optics within a contact lens to improve vision, as there are times when a power change alone will not suffice.

If you are unfamiliar with the 54 Multifocal contact lens, please sign up for Dr. Rob Davis’ email course to learn about the lens and how to design and prescribe it. You may also visit our multifocal products page, online fitting guide, or the 54 Multifocal blog series for more information.

Stay tuned,

The SpecialEyes Consultation Team

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