Purpose: Some children with visual stress and/or headaches have fewer symptoms when wearing colored lenses. Although subjective reports of improved perception exist, few objective correlates of these effects have been established.
Methods: In a pilot study, 10 children who wore Intuitive Colorimeter lenses, and claimed benefit, and two asymptomatic children were tested. Steady-state potentials were measured in response to low contrast patterns modulating at a frequency of 12 Hz. Four viewing conditions were compared: 1) no lens; 2) Colorimeter lens; 3) lens of complementary color; and 4) spectrally neutral lens with similar photopic transmission.
Results: The asymptomatic children showed little or no difference between the lens and no lens conditions. When all the symptomatic children were tested together, a similar result was found. However, when the symptomatic children were divided into two groups depending on their symptoms, an interaction emerged. Children with visual stress but no headaches showed the largest amplitude visual evoked potential response in the no lens condition, whereas those children whose symptoms included severe headaches or migraine showed the largest amplitude visual evoked potential response when wearing their prescribed lens.
Conclusions: The results suggest that it is possible to measure objective correlates of the beneficial subjective perceptual effects of colored lenses, at least in some children who have a history of migraine or severe headaches.