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Review

Ultraviolet radiation and age-related macular degeneration: the protective benefit of blue-light-blocking intraocular lenses. A literature review

Authors:

Catherine Howard ,

Orthoptic Department, TC Eye Unit, Frimley Park Hospital NHS Trust, Portsmouth Road, Frimley, Camberley, Surrey, GU16 7UJ, GB
About Catherine

BSc(Hons)

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Fiona J. Rowe

Division of Orthoptics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, GB
About Fiona J.

PhD, DBO

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Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the association between ocular sunlight exposure and the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), and to explore the retinal protection offered by blue-light filters in ultraviolet intraocular lenses (IOLs).

Methods: A literature search was undertaken using the Pub Med and Web of Knowledge databases. Non- English-language studies were not included. The review considers the effect of ultraviolet light on the eye with particular attention to retinal effects and ARMD. The blue-light hazard is considered, includ­ing the concept of blue-light filters in IOLs.

Results: The majority of papers did not find any statistical significance between sunlight exposure and ARMD. However, there were some statistically significant relationships between sunlight and early ARMD. Blue light has caused photochemical retinal damage in animal studies. Therefore, the presence of blue-light filters in IOLs may be indicated. Although theoretical predictions suggest a decrease in scotopic sensitivity with blue-light filter IOLs, clinical studies did not replicate these findings.

Conclusion: A causal association between ocular exposure to sunlight and the development of ARMD cannot be established from current literature. More epidemiological research is required to ascertain any strong association between sunlight exposure and ARMD, and to explore the effectiveness of ultraviolet and violet radiation-filtering IOLs.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.225
How to Cite: Howard, C. and Rowe, F.J., 2008. Ultraviolet radiation and age-related macular degeneration: the protective benefit of blue-light-blocking intraocular lenses. A literature review. British and Irish Orthoptic Journal, 5, pp.26–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.22599/bioj.225
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Published on 01 Jan 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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