Scientists at the Laboratory of Visual Optics and Biophotonics, Instituto de Optica, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) are reporting on the development of a device that simulates the results of a cataract surgery for people who are considering undergoing treatment. Specifically, the system offers the option of trying out multifocal lens implants that project both focused and unfocused images on the retina.
Unlike monofocal lenses that are tuned to focus at far distance, multifocal lenses are tuned for both distance and near vision, but the result is imperfect clarity at all distances. And making the choice is not an easy one if you can’t really experience what either will look like. Moreover, it’s a one way street and the decision is probably going to be a life-long one.
The SimVis simultaneous vision simulator lets patients preview the effect before committing. It works thanks to an electrically controlled lens that can change shape at a very high rate, rapidly jumping between focusing on near and far objects while affecting the contrast and sharpness similarly to how implanted multifocal lenses would.
From the study abstract in Optical Society’s journal Optica:
We measured visual acuity and perceptual quality on nine cyclopeged patients with three monofocal, two bifocal, and two trifocal corrections with different far/intermediate/near energy distributions simulated using the device. Visual performance and perceptual quality with multifocal corrections varied across patients, although they were more uniform across distances than monofocal corrections. Among the bifocal and trifocal designs, a trifocal with more energy at far was the most frequently identified as providing better quality. The simultaneous vision simulator proved a promising compact tool to study visual performance with multifocal corrections and to select the lens design best suited for each patient, alternative to costly and bulky adaptive optics based devices.
Study in journal Optica: Portable simultaneous vision device to simulate multifocal corrections…
Project page: SimVis…