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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Feb;247(2):225-33. doi: 10.1007/s00417-008-0973-6. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Influence of cosmetically tinted soft contact lenses on higher-order wavefront aberrations and visual performance.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8575, Japan.



To investigate the influence of cosmetically tinted soft contact lenses on ocular higher-order aberrations and visual performance, and to analyze the relationship between these parameters after the lens wear.


In 44 eyes of 22 subjects, visual acuity, contrast sensitivity under photopic and mesopic conditions, and ocular higher-order aberrations were evaluated before and after wearing the tinted soft contact lenses (1-day Acuvue Colours; Vistakon, Jacksonville, FL). Contrast sensitivity under a photopic condition was determined at 3, 6, 12, and 18 cycles per degree, and the area under the log contrast sensitivity function (AULCSF) was calculated. Mesopic contrast sensitivity with and without glare was assessed. Ocular higher-order aberrations for a 4-mm pupil were measured, and coma-like, spherical-like, and total higher-order aberrations were determined.


The tinted contact lens wearing resulted in significant decreases in log contrast sensitivity at all spatial frequencies (P < 0.05) and AULCSF (P < 0.0001), although 100% contrast visual acuity did not change. Log mesopic contrast sensitivity with and without glare was also reduced significantly by the lens wear (P < 0.0001). The contact lens wear significantly increased coma-like, spherical-like, and total higher-order aberrations (P < 0.0001). The induced changes in higher-order aberrations were analyzed in relation to the changes in contrast sensitivity function. Although the changes in coma-like and spherical-like aberrations did not correlate significantly with those in AULCSF (P > 0.05), the changes in total higher-order aberrations showed a significant correlation with those in AULCSF (P < 0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant relationship between the changes in higher-order aberrations and the changes in log mesopic contrast sensitivity with and without glare (P > 0.05).


Cosmetically tinted contact lenses increase ocular higher-order aberrations and worsen contrast sensitivity under both photopic and mesopic conditions. Increases in higher-order aberrations are responsible for decreased contrast sensitivity under the photopic condition. Tinted contact lens wearers should be sufficiently informed about the possible reduction in optical quality of the eye and quality of vision.

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