Effect of sport-tinted contact lenses for contrast enhancement on retinal straylight measurements

Optics Department, Universidad de Valencia, Dr Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Spain.
Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (Impact Factor: 2.18). 03/2008; 28(2):151-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-1313.2008.00541.x
Source: PubMed


To investigate the effect of two tinted contact lenses (CL) designed for outdoor sports activity on the psychometric determination of retinal straylight using the compensation comparison method.
Thirteen emmetropic subjects were randomly fitted with two different tinted Nike Maxsight (Bausch & Lomb, Rochester, NY, USA) CL in one eye, while the contralateral eye was fitted with a clear lens made of the same material (Optima 38, Bausch & Lomb). Three valid straylight measurements were taken on each eye before and a few minutes after lens insertion, when lens stabilization had occurred.
The subjects' mean straylight values were 0.90 +/- 0.09 at baseline and 0.95 +/- 0.10 with the clear Optima 38 CL. Straylight values were 0.97 +/- 0.10 and 1.0 +/- 0.10 log units with the amber and grey-green tinted CL, respectively. Differences in straylight between baseline (without CL) and with the clear CL in place were neither statistically significant (p = 0.066) nor was there a significant difference between baseline and the amber CL (p = 0.052). However, the grey-green CL showed a statistically significant difference from baseline (p = 0.006). Differences in straylight with the clear CL compared with the grey-green CL were also statistically different from zero (p = 0.002) showing an increased straylight value for the tinted CL. These differences were variable, but consistent for each subject, thus those showing higher or lower changes with one tinted lens tended to show the same trend with the second lens (r(2) = 0.736).
Despite increases having been found in straylight values with tinted contact lenses, those changes are not likely to induce clinically significant changes in visual function under photopic conditions, even for the grey-green CL, which seems to increase straylight values more significantly than the amber CL. This difference between the tinted CL could suggest a wavelength dependence of straylight values, although this should be investigated further by controlling for pupil size and subjects' pigmentation, as well as by using neutral density filters.

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    • "On a sunny day, a lens with low luminous transmittance is assumed to be usable without an effect on low-contrast visual acuity. Recently, although the usage and situations were very different from the lenses used in this study, there have also been reports regarding the effect of colored contact lenses in sports activities (Porisch, 2007; Cerviño et al., 2008). Erickson et al. (2009) studied and reported the effect of colored contact lenses; they found that using amber and gray-green contact lenses with luminous transmittances of 50% and 36%, respectively, could achieve better contrast sensitivity than using colorless lenses in bright sunlight. "
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    ABSTRACT: The use of tinted and clear contact lenses (CLs) in all aspects of life is becoming a more popular occurrence, particularly in athletic activities. This study broadens previous research regarding performance-tinted CLs and their effects on measures of visual performance. Thirty-three subjects (14 male, 19 female) were fitted with clear B&L Optima 38, 50% visible light transmission Amber and 36% visible light transmission Gray-Green Nike Maxsight CLs in an individualized randomized sequence. Subjects were dark-adapted with welding goggles before testing and in between subtests involving a Bailey-Lovie chart and the Haynes Distance Rock test. The sequence of testing was repeated for each lens modality. The Amber and Gray-Green lenses enabled subjects to recover vision faster in bright sunlight compared with clear lenses. Also, subjects were able to achieve better visual recognition in bright sunlight when compared with clear lenses. Additionally, the lenses allowed the subjects to alternate fixation between a bright and shaded target at a more rapid rate in bright sunlight as compared with clear lenses. Subjects preferred both the Amber and Gray-Green lenses over clear lenses in the bright and shadowed target conditions. The results of the current study show that Maxsight Amber and Gray-Green lenses provide better contrast discrimination in bright sunlight, better contrast discrimination when alternating between bright and shaded target conditions, better speed of visual recovery in bright sunlight, and better overall visual performance in bright and shaded target conditions compared with clear lenses.
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