by Dan Roberts
For several years, eye doctors have been debating the value of tinted intraocular lenses (IOLs) in eyes that have undergone cataract surgery. Those in favor of them argue that they reduce the retina’s exposure to potentially hazardous ultraviolet and blue light. The main argument against them is that they cause a decrease in dim light (scotopic) vision, which can be hazardous to the wearer. Now a recent study published in Optometry & Vision Science has demonstrated that there is no significant difference in visual acuity or macular changes between eyes implanted with UV- or blue-light filtering intraocular lenses.
30 patients with cataracts had a UV-light filtering IOL implanted in one eye and a blue-light filtering IOL implanted in the other. Researchers then administered the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire to each patient and measured best-corrected visual acuity, color discrimination and contrast sensitivity. They found no significant differences between color vision changes, contrast sensitivity, central macular thickness or total macular volume. They did, however, find a small but statistically significant difference in visual acuity. From this, they concluded that there was “no significant difference in visual function between the two IOL groups”. They also wrote that “larger and long-term clinical studies are needed to evaluate hypothetical retinal protection using a blue-light filtering IOL”.