Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Surv Ophthalmol. 2010 May-Jun;55(3):272-89. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2009.07.006. Epub 2009 Nov 1.

Blue-blocking IOLs decrease photoreception without providing significant photoprotection.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Prairie Village, Kansas, USA. mmainste@kumc.edu

Abstract

Violet and blue light are responsible for 45% of scotopic, 67% of melanopsin, 83% of human circadian (melatonin suppression) and 94% of S-cone photoreception in pseudophakic eyes (isoilluminance source). Yellow chromophores in blue-blocking intraocular lenses (IOLs) eliminate between 43 and 57% of violet and blue light between 400 and 500 nm, depending on their dioptric power. This restriction adversely affects pseudophakic photopic luminance contrast, photopic S-cone foveal threshold, mesopic contrast acuity, scotopic short-wavelength sensitivity and circadian photoreception. Yellow IOL chromophores provide no tangible clinical benefits in exchange for the photoreception losses they cause. They fail to decrease disability glare or improve contrast sensitivity. Most epidemiological evidence shows that environmental light exposure and cataract surgery are not significant risk factors for the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Thus, the use of blue-blocking IOLs is not evidence-based medicine. Most AMD occurs in phakic adults over 60 years of age, despite crystalline lens photoprotection far greater than that of blue-blocking IOLs. Therefore, if light does play some role in the pathogenesis of AMD, then 1) senescent crystalline lenses do not prevent it, so neither can blue-blocking IOLs that offer far less photoprotection, and 2) all pseudophakes should wear sunglasses in bright environments. Pseudophakes have the freedom to remove their sunglasses for optimal photoreception whenever they choose to do so, provided that they are not encumbered permanently by yellow IOL chromophores. In essence, yellow chromophores are placebos for prevention of AMD that permanently restrict a pseudophake's dim light and circadian photoreception at ages when they are needed most. If yellow IOLs had been the standard of care, then colorless UV-blocking IOLs could be advocated now as "premium" IOLs because they offer dim light and circadian photoreception roughly 15-20 years more youthful than blue-blocking IOLs.

PMID:
19883931
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk