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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Night vision in the elderly: consequences for seeing through a "blue filtering" intraocular lens.


Relative scotopic spectral sensitivity depends only on the rhodopsin photopigment and ocular media absorption spectra. Rhodopsin is well characterised so the relative scotopic spectral sensitivity function can be calculated for intraocular lenses (IOLs) of known spectral density. In a recent perspective, Mainster and Sparrow concluded that an IOL with short wave absorbing chromophores would provide more retinal protection than conventional IOLs, but the practical consequences for scotopic vision are unclear. This paper uses published experiments to examine the implications for scotopic vision of the IOLs analysed by Mainster and Sparrow. A 14.6% reduction in scotopic sensitivity is expected for a SN60AT (AcrySof Natural) compared to a SA60AT (Conventional AcrySof) IOL under broadband illumination (equal quantum spectrum). This effect (0.07 log unit) is visually insignificant in relation to the approximately 4.0 log unit range of scotopic sensitivity. More importantly, it is expected that scotopic contrast sensitivity would be reduced by only approximately 0.01 log unit. It is thus improbable that a difference in scotopic vision between observers with the Natural and Conventional IOLs could be reliably detected using broadband stimuli.

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