The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of corneal refractive therapy
(CRT) on refractive error-specific quality of life
The National Eye Institute Refractive Error Quality of Life Instrument (NEI RQL-42) was administered to 20 myopic patients (mean spherical equivalent –3.11 D ± 0.96 D) between the ages of 21 and 37 years both before and 1 month after being successfully fit with Paragon CRT lenses. High- and low-contrast best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and higher-order aberrations were also measured. Scores for the 13 NEI RQL-42 subscales were calculated and a Wilcoxon sign rank test was used to determine whether there was a significant change in each of the subscale scores. Post hoc power analyses were also performed.
Statistically significant changes were found in three of the 13 NEI RQL-42 subscales. Significant improvements in subscale score were found for the symptoms (mean ± standard deviation, 10.18 ± 10.57, p = 0.0007) and dependence on correction (43.13 ± 27.42, p < 0.0001) subscales. A significant reduction was found in the glare subscale (–32.50 ± 35.22, p = 0.001). No significant changes were found in the clarity of vision, expectations, near vision, far vision, diurnal fluctuations, activity limitations, worry, suboptimal correction, appearance, or satisfaction with correction subscales.
CRT may improve a patient’s perception of their visual independence, decrease the amount of ocular symptoms they report, and increase symptoms of glare. A larger, well-controlled clinical trial is necessary to verify these results. An increase in patient-reported glare is likely the result of measured increases in higher-order aberrations after CRT, especially spherical aberration under mesopic and scotopic conditions.