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Optom Vis Sci. 1999 Jan;76(1):33-9.

Change in refractive anisometropia in presbyopic adults wearing monovision contact lens correction.

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University of Houston, College of Optometry, Texas 77204-6052, USA.



Researchers studying the refractive development of infant monkeys suggest that monocular refractive error changes in response to induced ametropia; specifically, slightly blurring one eye may cause a difference to develop between each eye's correction (anisometropia) when none existed before wearing the correction. The important question of whether similar changes occur in humans has not been addressed.


We compared premonovision correction and the correction after at least 12 months of monovision soft contact lens wear (artificially induced anisometropia prescribed to focus one eye for near and the other for distance so that bifocal glasses are not needed) for 62 healthy predominantly female soft contact lens wearers and (a) 62 age- and sex-matched spectacle wearers and (b) 62 age- and generally sex-matched contact lens wearers. Control patients wore corrections of like power and had similar follow-up periods.


Development of anisometropia occurred significantly more frequently among monovision wearers than among spectacle (p = 0.043) or contact lens wearing controls (p = 0.025). Changes in anisometropia greater than or equal to 0.50 D, with amounts up to 1.25 D, occurred in 29% of monovision wearers.


Changes in refractive correction occur for adults who have monocular blur intentionally induced with monovision contact lenses. Similar changes may also occur after refractive surgery if one eye is corrected for a different distance than the other. Care should be taken when counseling presbyopic patients so that they are aware of the possibility of inducing refractive changes after monovision correction.

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