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Multifocal Contact Lens Not Ideal for Night Driving

MONDAY, Nov. 15 (HealthDay News) -- People who wear multifocal contact lenses have more difficulty driving at night than those who wear glasses, a new study finds.

Multifocal lenses correct near vision problems (presbyopia), a condition that becomes more common with age.

This study included 11 volunteers, aged 45 to 64, who drove on a closed circuit driving track at night.

Wearing multifocal contact lenses resulted in significantly slower driving speeds at night, compared with wearing progressive addition glasses. Even at slower speeds, contact lens wearers were less able to recognize road hazards. They also had to be closer to road signs to read them, potentially decreasing the time they have to react to information on the signs.

"For those patients who drive long distances and hours at night, practitioners should consider the best form of correction of presbyopia. One alternative is to prescribe the multifocal contact lenses for daytime use and a different correction for driving at night," wrote study author Byoung Sun Chu, formerly of the School of Optometry, Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.

The study appears in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

More information

The American Optometric Association has more about presbyopia.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, news release, Nov. 3, 2010

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