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To determine the benefits provided by centrally red-tinted contact lenses on visual acuity, contrast sensitivity (CS), photophobia, and quality of life in patients with degenerative retinal diseases.
We evaluated the impact of centrally red-tinted hydrogel contact lenses on nine patients (aged 15 to 22 years) with severe photophobia and poor visual acuity. Each patient underwent a full eye examination with and without contact lenses, including visual acuity at distance and near, CS, eye movement recording for nystagmus, refraction, and a fundus examination. All patients completed a low vision–adapted VFQ 25–Version 2000 quality-of-life questionnaire.
Seven of nine patients demonstrated improvement in binocular visual acuity as well as improvement in CS with the tinted contact lenses. Subjectively, all patients described a major improvement in their photophobia both outdoors and indoors, as well as a marked improvement in quality of life.
Red-tinted contact lenses may dramatically improve visual functions, outdoor performance, and quality of life of patients suffering from retinal diseases. These lenses should be a part of the regular assessment in specialty clinics treating patients with low vision, glare, and photophobia.