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Presbyopic Personal Computer Work

A Comparison of Progressive Addition Lenses for General Purpose and Personal Computer Work

Kolbe, Oliver, MEng1*; Degle, Stephan, MSc, PhD1

doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001295

SIGNIFICANCE Computer-specific progressive addition lenses (PC-PALs) are shown to reduce computer vision syndrome (CVS) symptoms, increase visual comfort and tolerance, and improve body posture at the personal computer. They are highly preferred by computer workers. Increasing their use may aid prevention measures within the workplace health management.

PURPOSE This study investigates whether technical differences between general-purpose progressive addition lenses (GP-PALs) and PC-PALs are subjectively manifest in CVS.

MATERIALS AND METHODS One hundred ninety presbyopic visual display unit (VDU) workers aged 53 ± 6 years (mean ± SD) were fitted with GP-PALs and PC-PALs in a subject-masked, randomized, crossover study. Subjects tested both corrections at their personal workplace for 2 weeks each, for VDU work only. Comfort and lens type preferences were assessed using a 24-item questionnaire developed for this study.

RESULTS Computer vision syndrome was perceived approximately seven times more often with GP-PALs compared with PC-PALs. Eighty-four percent of subjects preferred PC-PALs for their VDU work. Computer-specific progressive addition lenses ratings were statistically and clinically significantly better than GP-PALs (5.95 vs. 4.42 of 7 points; 1.53; 95% confidence interval, 1.20 to 1.85). An existing ametropia or prior experience with PALs did not influence the score. Only 14.2% of subjects had received information about specific VDU eyewear from their optician or optometrist, whereas 79% expressed the wish to be informed about these products.

CONCLUSIONS Computer-specific progressive addition lenses reduce the perception of the CVS and are highly preferred by VDU workers.

1Faculty of SciTec, Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences Jena, Jena, Germany *

Supplemental Digital Content: Appendix Table A1. Technical information and lens specifications of the tested progressive addition lenses for general purpose.

Appendix Table A2. Technical information and lens specifications of the tested progressive addition lenses for computer work.

Both Appendices are available at

Submitted: December 18, 2017

Accepted: June 10, 2018

Funding/Support: Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany and STEINBEIS committee Germany.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: The authors listed report a financial conflict of interest (STEINBEIS committee Germany; Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany). The sponsor provided financial (labor costs) and material (test items) support but had no role in the study design, conduct, analysis and interpretation, or writing of the report.

Author Contributions and Acknowledgments: Conceptualization: OK; Data Curation: OK; Formal Analysis: OK; Funding Acquisition: SD; Investigation: OK; Methodology: OK; Project Administration: SD; Software: OK; Supervision: SD; Validation: SD; Visualization: OK; Writing – Original Draft: OK; Writing – Review & Editing: OK, SD.

The authors are thankful to their colleague Dr. Alex Muntz for his professional proofreading and Philipp Hessler, who assisted during data collection.

Supplemental Digital Content: Direct URL links are provided within the text.

© 2018 American Academy of Optometry