High Energy Visible Light-Filtering Contact Lenses Reduce Halos, Starbursts

Reducing positive dysphotopsia may be a consideration when fitting patients with contact lenses.

Contact lenses with a high energy visible (HEV) light filter may significantly reduce bright broadband light effects including halos and starbursts, according to research published in Eye & Contact Lens.  

Researchers included 58 patients (mean age, 39.2 years; 77% women; 31.1% Black) who were habitual spherical silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses wearers with a best-corrected visual acuity of 20/25 or better in the double-masked, contralaterally designed study. HEV-filtering lenses — a senofilcon A prototype that filters approximately 60% of short-wave visible light between 380 and 450 nm, were randomized for wear on the right or left eye. A clear control contact lens was worn on the contralateral eye. Both lenses were tested using point source broadband simulations of sunlight and 403-nm conditions to create light artifacts. Dysphotopsia was evaluated by the diameter of induced halos and starbursts.

Mean halo and starburst diameters were significantly smaller with the HEV-filtering lenses compared with the control lenses (39.73 vs 55.14 mm and 79.52 vs 106.29 mm, respectively; P <.001 for both). Eyes with the HEV-filtering lenses had lower two-point thresholds in both the broadband and 403 nm conditions compared with controls  (8.24 vs 9.66 mm and 3.74 vs 5.27, respectively).

Overall, HEV-filtering lenses reduced halos by 30.3% (95% CI, 20.1%-39.2%; P <.0001), starbursts by 23.4% (95% CI, 18.4%-28.1%; P <.0001), 2-point threshold at 403 nm by 30.1% (95% CI, 22.6%-36.9%; P <.0001), and 2-point threshold at broadband white by 18.3% (95% CI, 12.8%-23.6%; P <.0001).

The results of this study suggest that the action spectrum for halos and spokes is similar to photophobia, exaggerated for short-wave visible light. 

“Across these measuring conditions, the HEV-filtering contact lenses in one eye performed better than the clear contact lens tested in the fellow eye,” according to the study authors. “The results of this study suggest that the action spectrum for halos and spokes is similar to photophobia, exaggerated for short-wave visible light. The results of this study further suggest that filtering at short wavelengths can confer a visual advantage.”

Study limitations include a small sample size and single center design. 

Disclosure: This research was supported by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care. Multiple study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or clinical research organizations. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Renzi-Hammond LM, Buch J, Xu J, Hammond BR. The influence of HEV-filtering contact lenses on behavioral indices of glare. Eye Contact Lens. Published online October 6, 2022. doi:10.1097/ICL.0000000000000944