Most writers know the old adage: show, don’t tell. For optometrists prepping patients for cataract surgery, that hasn’t been an option, but it may become one if a new device under investigation comes to market. Using a new visual simulator, patients can experience how their vision will change after implantation of multifocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) before they even meet the surgeon. The head-mounted technology, developed by a team from the Spanish National Research Council, is featured in an article in February’s issue of Scientific Reports. A Madrid-based team evaluated the system’s performance and presented its findings in the report.

The team compared through-focus (TF) optical and visual quality produced by real multifocal IOLs (bifocal refractive and trifocal diffractive) with simulated designs produced with the device. Measurements were performed on seven cyclopleged subjects using the simulator in monochromatic light. The study validated the device’s optical quality was accurate. “While there may be differences between the curves point by point, the general shape of the TF curves is preserved,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

The simulator is controlled by a mobile or tablet app, according to a Science Daily report. 

Vinas M, Benedi-Garcia C, Aissati S, et al. Visual simulators replicate vision with multifocal lenses. Scientific Reports. February 7, 2019. Accessed March 5, 2019.