Blue Light-filtering IOL may Prevent Onset and Progression of Macular Degeneration

The implantation of a blue light-filtering intraocular lens (IOL) may prevent the onset and progression of age-related macular degeneration according to investigators in a newly released study.

Previous studies had shown a relationship between cataract surgery and the exposure of the retina to blue light.  This was said to be a contributing factor for the development of macular degeneration.

It was thought that the retina may be protected from macular degeneration by macular pigment.  This may prevent the onset of macular degeneration as well as the progression of macular degeneration according to the study authors.

In a prospective and randomized study of 42 patients, 21 of which were implanted with an AcrySof Natural IOL with blue light-filtering capability and the other 21 implanted an an AcrySof three-piece acrylic IOL, those patients implanted with the blue light-filtering IOL were shown to have increased macular pigment at 3-months after the surgery.

With Lutein and Zeaxanthin serum concentrations also assessed, researchers found that the results showed that implantation of blue light-filtering IOL increased macular pigment in the absense of raised lutein or zeaxanthin serum levels.

The study authors commented that “Further study is required in the form of controlled long-term trials to investigate whether implantation of a blue light-filtering IOL is effective in preventing or delaying development or progression of macular degeneration.”

Source: Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009;50(10):4777-4785.