Reduced effect of glare disability on driving performance in patients with blue light-filtering intraocular lenses

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2011 Jan;37(1):38-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2010.07.034.


Purpose: To compare the effects of glare on driving performance in patients who had implantation of a blue light-filtering acrylic intraocular lens (IOL) and those who had implantation of an acrylic IOL with no blue-light filter.

Setting: Department of Applied Psychology, Arizona State University, Mesa, Arizona, USA.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: Patients with a blue light-filtering AcrySof Natural SN60AT IOL (study group) and patients with an AcrySof SA60AT IOL with no blue-light filter (control group) who had good visual acuity and a valid driver's license performed left-turn maneuvers in a driving simulator in front of oncoming traffic. The safety margin (time to collision minus time taken to turn at intersection with oncoming traffic) was calculated. The measurements were repeated with a glare source simulating low-angle sun conditions (daytime driving).

Results: With glare, the safety margin was statistically significantly greater in the study group (n = 17) than in the control group (n = 17) (mean 2.534 seconds ± 0.488 [SD] and 2.116 ± 0.511 seconds, respectively) (P < .05). Comparing no-glare conditions and glare conditions, the study group had significantly lower glare susceptibility, fewer collisions with the oncoming car, and a lower impact on intersection approach speed than the control group.

Conclusions: The IOL incorporating blue light-filtering technology significantly reduced glare disability and improved the driver's ability to safely execute a left turn with oncoming traffic in the presence of glare simulating low-angle sun conditions. The real-world benefit of this technology is presumably mediated by a stronger signal to detect approaching objects (motion-in-depth) as a result of a reduction in glare disability.

Financial disclosure: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned. Additional disclosures are found in the footnotes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Glare*
  • Humans
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular*
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Male
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Pseudophakia / physiopathology
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology