An evaluation of responses to light stimuli measured using functional MRI in a cohort of patients with chronic ocular pain, dry eye symptoms, and photophobia revealed that the use of FL-41 tinted lenses, which include filters that block 480 nm wavelength and have a rose-colored tint, resulted in reduced activity in brain regions associated with pain processing, which was reflected in significantly lower light-evoked “unpleasantness” ratings. The authors concluded that these tinted lenses affect the way the brain processes photophobia and ocular discomfort responses in patients with dry eye symptoms.

Although additional research is needed, this work helps to demonstrate a neural mechanism underlying the positive response to tinted lenses in some patients, suggesting that further elucidating these mechanisms might allow for better treatment of ocular pain and photophobia in certain affected individuals.

Kathleen F. Freeman, OD, FAAO

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