Multifocal lenses are increasingly used solutions for presbyopia, the age-related loss of crystalline lens focus ability. These lenses work by the principle of simultaneous vision, superimposing focused and defocused images on the retina. Providing the experience of simultaneous vision to a patient before permanent implantation of a multifocal lens is a recognized unmet need to increase the patient’s confidence and optimize the lens selection. We developed a hand-held, see-through multifocal vision simulator based on temporal multiplexing of a tunable lens. The device was calibrated and validated using focimetry and Hartmann–Shack aberrometry revealing high reproducibility of the through-focus multifocal energy distribution and high optical quality. We measured visual acuity and perceptual quality on nine cyclopeged patients with three monofocal, two bifocal, and two trifocal corrections with different far/intermediate/near energy distributions simulated using the device. Visual performance and perceptual quality with multifocal corrections varied across patients, although they were more uniform across distances than monofocal corrections. Among the bifocal and trifocal designs, a trifocal with more energy at far was the most frequently identified as providing better quality. The simultaneous vision simulator proved a promising compact tool to study visual performance with multifocal corrections and to select the lens design best suited for each patient, alternative to costly and bulky adaptive optics based devices.
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© 2016 Optical Society of America