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Shaobo Lei, Marija Zivcevska, Herbert C. Goltz, Xingqiao Chen, Agnes M. F. Wong; Ocular Topical Anesthesia Does Not Attenuate Light-Induced Discomfort Using Blue and Red Light Stimuli. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(11):4714-4719. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24797.
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To investigate whether melanopsin-containing ophthalmic trigeminal ganglion cells provide significant input to mediate light-induced discomfort. This is done by studying the effect of ocular topical anesthesia on light-induced discomfort threshold to blue light and red light stimuli using a psychophysical approach.
Ten visually normal participants completed the experiment consisting of two trials: an anesthesia trial in which light stimuli were presented to both eyes following 0.5% proparacaine eye drops administration, and a placebo trial in which normal saline drops were used. In each trial, a randomized series of 280 blue and red light flashes were presented over seven intensity steps with 20 repetitions for each color and light intensity. Participants were instructed to report whether they perceived each stimulus as either “uncomfortably bright” or “not uncomfortably bright” by pressing a button. The proportion of “uncomfortable” responses was pooled to generate individual psychometric functions, from which 50% discomfort thresholds (defined as the light intensity at which the individuals perceived the stimulus to be uncomfortably bright/unpleasant 50% of the time) were calculated.
When blue light was presented, there was no significant difference in the light-induced discomfort thresholds between anesthesia and placebo trials (P = 0.44). Similarly, when red light was used, no significant difference in threshold values was found between the anesthesia and placebo trials (P = 0.28).
Ocular topical anesthesia does not alter the light-induced discomfort thresholds to either blue or red light, suggesting that the melanopsin-containing ophthalmic trigeminal ganglion cells provide little or no significant input in mediating light-induced discomfort under normal physiologic conditions.
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