UArizona optical scientist develops trifocal lens technology

University of Arizona 'Old Main' (Source: Bill Morrow)
University of Arizona 'Old Main' (Source: Bill Morrow)
Published: Aug. 11, 2020 at 5:33 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A University of Arizona optical scientist has designed implantable cataract replacement lenses for the eye that allow for mid-range vision and may eliminate the need for glasses or contacts for some people.

The lenses were developed by Jim Schwiegerling, a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science in the UArizona James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences.

In the 1990s, bifocal intraocular lenses became commercially available to help those with aging eyes, but the artificial bifocal lens design offers clarity for only two distances: near and far. 

"One of the complaints about bifocal lenses is that you can drive a car and read, but everything in between was kind of fuzzy and with all the screens (we use today), people wanted that extra intermediate distance," Schwiegerling said. 

Besides offering better eyesight through a third focal distance, trifocal lenses can also let more light into the eye, which creates sharper, higher contrast images, solving one more common problem of bifocal lenses. 

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