Purpose: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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).
Conclusions: 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.