In an article in the Journal of Refractive Surgery, doctors at the Gordon & Wiess vision institute reported the results of a series of progressive multifocal LASIK (PML) using the WaveLight Allegretto laser platform for the treatment of presbyopia. This is different from, but similar to the use of femtosecond lasers to create a multifocal cornea.
This series reported results from a series of 102 patients who had the procedure and received a follow-up at least three months after treatment. According to their results 81% of patients had 20/20 or better binocular uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA) and 98% had 20/25 or better UDVA. The real breakthrough, though, is that 44% had Jaeger (J) 1 near visual acuity, 60% had J2, and 96% had J3. Jaeger visual acuity tests, although not standard, are often better for near visual acuity, the crucial factor being corrected in presbyopia treatment.
The study did not report any complications from the treatment. However, one concern not addressed in the study report is whether visual acuity was dependent on light levels, since multifocal treatments can often give variable results with respect to pupil size, since the rounded pupil cuts out one or more refractive zones as it shrinks. Hopefully, this and other new presbyopia treatments are working to address this problem.
Presbyopia affects almost everyone, especially as we age. If you have noticed that your near vision has begun to blur in recent years, please contact a local ophthalmologist and have your vision evaluated.