The following is a summary of “Effect of a short-wave filtering contact lens on color appearance,” published in the January 2023 issue of Ophthalmology by Hammond, et al.

For a study, researchers examined how the appearance of color was affected by a contact lens that filters short-wavelength (SW) visible light. The effects were modeled and quantified by directly comparing them to a clear contact lens. 

Sixty-one individuals were enrolled, and 58 of them finished the cohort. Of them, 31 were between 18 and 39 (mean ± SD, 29.6 ± 5.6), and 27 were between 40 and 65 (50.1 ± 8.1). Participants in a double-masked contralateral design were randomly, participants assigned to wear an SW-filtering contact lens in one eye and a clear control lens in the other. The subjects subsequently achieved a perceived ideal neutral white with each eye by combining three primaries, one of which was a short-wave primary that was strongly inside the test lens’s absorbance. Utilizing chromaticity coordinates determined by a spectrum radiometer inside of a specially made tri-colorimeter, color appearance was quantified. Cone principles based on a typical observer and hyperspectral pictures were used to recreate color vision in real situations. 

Regardless of age group, there was no discernible difference in the chromaticity coordinates of matches established using the SW-filtering contact lens (n = 58; x = 0.345, y = 0.325, u′ = 0.222, v′ = 0.470) and clear contact lens (n = 58; x = 0.344, y = 0.325, u′ = 0.223, v′ = 0.471). The examined SW-filtering contact lens changed L/(L+M) and S/(L+M) chromatic contrast by no more than −1.4% to +1.1% and −36.9% to +5.0%, respectively, for natural settings, according to simulations. Tricolorimetry was used to measure the appearance of color in subjects wearing a clear lens in one eye and an SW-filtering lens in the other. 

The results showed that whether a contact lens was tinted subtly, as in the case of the evaluated SW-filtering lens, did not affect how color appeared in either younger or older subjects. In natural settings, the lens should have little impact on chromatic contrast, according to a color vision model.