Efficacy of color lenses in abolishing photosensitivity: Beyond the one-type-fits-all approach?

A. Checa-ros, D. Kasteleijn-nolst Trenite, A. Edson-scott, B. Carr, A. Cerquiglini, S. Seri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Red-light filtering lenses represent an additional option to medication in photosensitive epilepsy. Blue lenses (Clarlet Z1 F133) can dramatically reduce seizure frequency, with a substantial restriction in luminance that can limit their applicability in daily life. We investigated the efficacy of 4 blue lenses with higher transmittance and reduced chromatic distortion in abolishing the photoparoxysmal EEG response (PPR) compared to the gold-standard Z1 lenses.

We reviewed EEG data during photic-and pattern stimulation in 19 consecutive patients (6–39 years) with photosensitivity (PS). Stimulation was performed at baseline and while wearing Z1 and the four new lenses. Lenses were tested in the same session by asking the patient to wear them in a sequentially randomized fashion while stimulating again with the most provocative photic/pattern stimuli. The primary outcome was the change in the initial PPR observed for each lens, categorized as no change, reduction, and abolition.

Photosensitivity was detected in 17 subjects (89.5%); pattern sensitivity (PtS) was identified in 14 patients (73.7%). The highest percentages of PPR abolition/reduction were observed with Z1, for both PS and PtS. Regarding the new lenses, B1 + G1 offered the best rates, followed by B1 + G2. B1 + G3 and B1 showed lower efficacy rates, particularly for PtS. In the comparative analysis, no significant differences in PPR suppression were detected between the five lenses for PS. For PtS, the capacity of Z1 for PPR abolition was significantly higher compared with B1 + G3 and B1.

This preliminary study suggests efficacy of the new group of blue lenses with potentially greater tolerability, particularly in regions with fewer sunlight hours during winter. In line with the current trend for personalized approach to treatment, this study suggests that in some patients there might be scope in extending the testing to offer the lens with the higher transmittance effective in abolishing the PPR.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108332
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Early online date4 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding: Dr A. Checa-Ros was supported by a research grant from the Spanish institution Fundación Alfonso Martín Escudero (FAME).


  • Blue lenses
  • Intermittent photic stimulation
  • Pattern sensitivity
  • Photoparoxysmal response
  • Photosensitivity
  • Wavelength-dependence


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