We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Controversies |

Intraocular Lenses Should Block UV Radiation and Violet but Not Blue Light

Martin A. Mainster, PhD, MD, FRCOphth
Arch Ophthalmol. 2005;123(4):550-555. doi:10.1001/archopht.123.4.550.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Blue light–blocking intraocular lenses (IOLs) trade off rod-mediated visual function for limited protection against acute retinal phototoxicity.1 Twenty-five years ago, I cautioned ophthalmologists and manufacturers that clear IOLs transmitted potentially harmful 330- to 400-nm UV radiation (UVR) to the retina.2,3 Within a few years, most manufacturers incorporated UVR-blocking chromophores into IOLs.4 Eighteen years ago, I suggested blocking violet light in addition to UVR.4 Violet light has substantial potential retinal phototoxicity but little effect on scotopic (nighttime) or photopic (daytime) vision.57 Nonetheless, visible light–blocking IOLs have been introduced only recently in the United States.

Figures in this Article

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview


Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 1.

The solid line and dashed lines are the transmittance spectrum of a 20-diopter (D) AcrySof UV only–blocking intraocular lens (IOL) (Alcon Inc, Dallas, Tex) and a 20-D AcrySof Natural IOL (Alcon Inc).11 The area between the curves is amount of violet, blue, and green light transmitted to the retina by an AcrySof UV only–blocking IOL but blocked by an AcrySof Natural IOL. Blocked light theoretically decreases rod-mediated visual function and the risk of acute UV-blue retinal phototoxicity.1

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 2.

The Purkinje shift is the change in peak spectral sensitivity from longer to shorter wavelengths as illumination decreases.7 Thus, rod-mediated scotopic sensitivity (nighttime vision) is much more dependent on violet and blue light than cone-mediated photopic sensitivity (daytime vision).

Graphic Jump Location




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

63 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections