Computer Progressive Lenses Improve Visual Quality in Simulated Presbyopia

Computer progressive addition lenses may outperform general purpose progressives when engaging in computer use.

Patients with presbyopia may prefer computer progressive lenses to general purpose progressive addition lenses for performing computer tasks, according to research published in Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics. While progressive lens users report better perceived visual quality and a wider field of view with the computer lenses compared with progressives worn for everyday use, there is no significant difference in the muscular strain exerted by the trapezius muscle while wearing either lens style, according to the report.  

Researchers included 32 individuals (mean age, 24 years; women, 24) in a single-blinded, crossover study performed between January 2020 and June 2020. The team artificially induced presbyopia using cyclopentolate 1% and did not include individuals with the refractive error in order to reduce the influence of habituation effects.

Study participants underwent surface electromyography (SEMG), bilaterally from the trapezius muscle, and performed a 30-minute computer task while wearing computer progressive lenses and while wearing general purpose progressive addition lenses. After completing the tasks, participants completed a non standardized, 7-item questionnaire to evaluate subjective postural load perceptions and wearing experience in both lenses. Using SEMG data, the investigators assessed trapezius muscle activity while study individuals wore each progressive lens style.

Overall, there was no significant difference in the muscular activity of the trapezius muscle while wearing either lens, the report shows. 

Even though the electromyographic approach did not show a clear differentiation between the two lenses examined here, the subjective evaluation was clearly in favour of PC-PALs.

However, compared with general purpose progressive addition lenses, participants reported better perceived visual quality (P <.001), spontaneous tolerance (P <.001), and field of view (P <.001) while wearing the computer progressive lenses.

“Even though the electromyographic approach did not show a clear differentiation between the two lenses examined here, the subjective evaluation was clearly in favor of [computer progressive lenses],” according to the researchers. “Therefore, eye care practitioners should always take an occupational history of presbyopes, ask about the workplace situation and consider prescribing [computer progressive lenses].”

Study limitations include a high dropout rate, short study duration, failure to perform the assessments on individuals with presbyopia, and failure to provide any insights into the long-term effects of computer progressive lenses and general purpose progressive addition lenses.

Disclosure: This research was supported by VISALL. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.

References:

Kolbe O, Becker P, Degle S, Anders C. Trapezius activity during personal computer work with progressive addition lenses for general purpose and for computer work in neophytes. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. Published online July 7, 2023. doi:10.1111/opo.13196