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From the Current Issue

New Research:
Multifocal Lenses Don’t Boost Satisfaction With Cataract Surgery

People who have multifocal lenses implanted after cataract surgery are less likely to need reading glasses afterwards than those who receive monofocal lenses, but they aren’t any happier about their quality of vision. The reason is that people who get multifocal lenses appear to have unrealistic expectations about the device, according to a new study.

Dutch researchers randomized 75 people who needed cataract surgery to receive either monofocal or multifocal lenses. Patients were counseled about what to expect from each of the implants.

Three months after both eyes had been operated on, about 90% of the patients in both groups were satisfied with their quality of near and far vision when using glasses. Although more people in the multifocal group were able to see well without reading glasses most of the time (43% vs. 22%), they were no more likely than those in the monofocal group to state that their expectations of surgery were met (62% vs. 63%).

The researchers conclude that although multifocal lenses can reduce people’s dependence on reading glasses, more than half of people who receive them still need glasses—and that patients should be aware of this before surgery.

Volume 111, page 1832
October 2004


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The vision White Paper from The Johns Hopkins White Papers series is an annual, in-depth report written by Hopkins physicians.



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