The Effect of Blue-Light Filtering Intraocular Lenses on the Development and Progression of Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Asaf Achiron, Uri Elbaz, Idan Hecht, Oriel Spierer, Adi Einan-Lifshitz, Petteri Karesvuo, Ilkka Laine, Raimo Tuuminen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess the effect of blue-light filtering (BLF) intraocular lenses (IOLs) on the prevention of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) after cataract surgery. Design: Cohort study. Participants: Patients who underwent uneventful cataract surgery between 2007 and 2018 at the Ophthalmology Unit of Kymenlaakso Central Hospital, Kotka, Finland. Methods: Subsequent nAMD rates were compared between patients who received BLF IOLs and those who received non-BLF IOLs. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses for the overall risk of nAMD developing were assessed. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), foveal thickness, treatment interval, and total number of intravitreal injections were secondary outcomes. A separate analysis was performed on patients with pre-existing nAMD to assess the effect of BLF IOLs on nAMD progression. A single eye of each patient was included. Main Outcome Measure: Neovascular age-related macular degeneration-free survival. Results: Included were 11 397 eyes of 11 397 patients with a mean age of 75.4 ± 8.3 years (62.5% women). The BLF IOL was used in 5425 eyes (47.6%), and the non-BLF IOL was used in 5972 eyes (52.4%). During follow-up (BLF IOL group, 55.2 ± 34.1 months; non-BLF IOL group, 50.5 ± 30.1 months; P < 0.001), 164 cases of new-onset nAMD were recorded (BLF group, n = 88; non-BLF group, n = 76). The nAMD-free survival was similar between the groups (P = 0.465, log-rank test). In a Cox regression analysis controlling for age, gender, and a documented diagnosis of macular degeneration, the use of a BLF IOL was not predictive of nAMD development (hazard ratio [HR], 1.075; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.79–1.47; P = 0.652). In nAMD patients, secondary clinical outcomes at 1 year were comparable for BCVA (0.57 ± 0.4 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution vs. 0.45 ± 0.4 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution; P = 0.136), foveal thickness (285 ± 109 μm vs. 299 ± 103μm; P = 0.527), number of anti–vascular endothelial growth factor injections (6.5 ± 2.5 vs. 6.2 ± 2.7; P = 0.548), and treatment interval (7.5 ± 2.4 weeks vs. 8.1 ± 2.4 weeks; P = 0.271) for BLF and non-BLF IOLs, respectively. Similarly to patients in whom nAMD developed after the surgery, among patients with nAMD before surgery (BLF, n = 71; non-BLF, n = 74), the clinical outcomes again were comparable (all P > 0.05). Conclusions: In a large cohort of patients who underwent cataract surgery, the use of a BLF IOL resulted in no apparent advantage over a non-BLF IOL in the incidence of nAMD or its progression, nor in clinical variables related to nAMD severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-416
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Anti–vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Blue-light filtering
  • Cataract surgery
  • Choroidal neovascularization
  • Intraocular lens
  • Neovascular age-related macular degeneration


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