Effects of a blue-blocking screen filter on accommodative accuracy and visual discomfort

Redondo, Beatriz; Vera, Jesus; Ortega-Sanchez, Alba; Molina, Ruben; Jimenez, Raimundo

VL / 40 - BP / 790 - EP / 800
Introduction The prescription of blue-blocking (B-B) filters for the management of visual symptoms and signs associated with the use of electronic devices is routinely performed by eye care specialists. However, the utility of B-B filters is a matter of debate and discussion by the scientific community due to the lack of evidence supporting their use. Here, we aimed to determine the effects of using B-B filters on the dynamics of the accommodative response and pupil size and perceived levels of visual discomfort, while performing a 30-min reading task at a close distance in subjects who routinely use electronic devices. Methods Nineteen healthy young adults (22.0 +/- 2.7 years) read two 30-min passages on a computer screen placed at 50 cm, either while using a commercially available B-B filter or without any filter on two different days. The magnitude and variability of both the accommodative response and pupil size were dynamically measured for 60 s using the WAM-5500 open field autorefractometer at 4-5, 9-10, 14-15, 19-20, 24-25, and 29-30 min into the trial. The perceived levels of visual discomfort were also obtained. Results The lag and variability of accommodation were insensitive to the blue light level (p = 0.34 and 0.62, respectively). There was a time-on-task effect for the variability of accommodation, showing greater instability over time regardless of the blue light level. The use of the B-B filter was associated with improved reading speed (p = 0.02), with an increase of 16.5 words per minute. However, it was not associated with any significant change in pupil dynamics or the perceived levels of visual discomfort (p> 0.05 in both cases). Conclusions Our data showed that the use of a B-B filter had no effect on accommodative dynamics or visual symptomatology. Based on these findings, there is no support for the prescription of B-B filters to attenuate the visual symptoms and signs associated with the use of electronic devices in healthy young adults.

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