International multi-centre study of potential benefits of ultraviolet radiation protection using contact lenses

James S Wolffsohn*, Sandeep Dhallu, Maana Aujla, Debbie Laughton, Keith Tempany, Daniel Powell, Kate Gifford, Paul Gifford, Kin Wan, Pauline Cho, Ulrike Stahl, Jill Woods

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
To examine the effects of long-term ultraviolet radiation (UVR) blocking wearing contact lenses on ocular surface health, eye focus and macular pigment.

Method
210 pre-presbyopic patients were recruited from Birmingham UK, Brisbane Australia, Hong Kong China, Houston USA and Waterloo Canada (n = 42 at each site). All patients had worn contact lenses for ≥ 5 years, half (test group) of a material incorporating a UVR-blocking filter. Ocular health was assessed using slit-lamp biomicroscopy and UV autofluorescence. Accommodation was measured subjectively with a push-up test and overcoming lens-induced defocus. Objective stimulus response and dynamic measures of the accommodative response were quantified with an open-field aberrometer. Macular pigment optical density (MPOD) was assessed using heterochromatic flicker photometry (MPS II).

Results
The two groups of participants were matched for age, sex, race, body-mass-index, diet, lifestyle, UVR exposure, refractive error and visual acuity. Limbal (p = 0.035), but not bulbar conjunctival redness (p = 0.903) was lower in eyes that had worn UVR-blocking contact lenses compared to controls. The subjective (8.0 ± 3.7D vs 7.3 ± 3.3D; p = 0.125) and objective (F = 1.255, p = 0.285) accommodative response was higher in the test group, but the differences did not reach significance. However, the accommodative latency was shorter in eyes that had worn UVR-blocking contact lenses (p = 0.003). There was no significant different in MPOD with UVR filtration (p = 0.869).

Conclusions
Blocking the transmission of UVR is beneficial in maintaining the eye’s ability to focus, suggesting that presbyopia maybe delayed in long-term UVR-blocking contact lenses wearers. These lenses also provide protection to the critical limbal region.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101593
JournalContact Lens and Anterior Eye
Early online date15 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of British Contact Lens Association. This is an open access article under the CC BY license 4.0

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