Positive and negative dysphotopsia in patients with acrylic intraocular lenses

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2000 Sep;26(9):1346-55. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(00)00611-8.


Purpose: To report the incidence, management, and prevention of patient reports of glare and streaks around a point source of light or a dark shadow in the temporal field of vision after acrylic intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.

Setting: A private practice.

Methods: Cases in which patients complained vigorously of dysphotopsia were catalogued prospectively during the implantation experience in 6668 consecutive eyes having surgery between January 1995 and June 1999. The techniques of topical-intracameral anesthesia, temporal clear corneal incisions, and phacoemulsification were used in all cases. Alternate IOL styles were selected for use from July 1999 to April 2000.

Results: Fourteen cases (0.2%) were identified. The complaints resolved in 1, were diminished in 1, and were tolerated without change in 7. Five eyes of 4 patients required IOL exchange with capsular bag placement of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) or silicone lens for resolution of symptoms. Selecting alternate IOL styles reduced the incidence of dysphotopsia.

Conclusions: Glare and streaks from a point source of light represent positive photic expressions of dysphotopsia, and temporal dark shadows represent similar negative photic expressions. Both appear to be associated with shiny square-edge optics made of high-refractive-index acrylic polymer. Intraocular lenses of PMMA and silicone with rounded edges, along with square-edge acrylic IOLs with nonreflective edges, appear less likely to cause clinically significant pseudophakic dysphotopsia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acrylates*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Pseudophakia / complications*
  • Pseudophakia / physiopathology
  • Pseudophakia / surgery
  • Refraction, Ocular
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Vision Disorders / surgery
  • Visual Acuity


  • Acrylates