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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.



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.5-7 Nonetheless, visible light–blocking IOLs have been introduced only recently in the United States.

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