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Controversies
April 1, 2005

Intraocular Lenses Should Block UV Radiation and Violet but Not Blue Light

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Ophthalmology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City.

 

BRESSLERNEIL MMD

Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123(4):550-555. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.4.550

Blue light–blocking intraocular lenses (IOLs) trade off rod-mediated visual function for limited protection against acute retinal phototoxicity.1 Twenty-five years ago, I cautioned ophthalmologists and manufacturers that clear IOLs transmitted potentially harmful 330- to 400-nm UV radiation (UVR) to the retina.2,3 Within a few years, most manufacturers incorporated UVR-blocking chromophores into IOLs.4 Eighteen years ago, I suggested blocking violet light in addition to UVR.4 Violet light has substantial potential retinal phototoxicity but little effect on scotopic (nighttime) or photopic (daytime) vision.57 Nonetheless, visible light–blocking IOLs have been introduced only recently in the United States.

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