IOL implantation improves sleep quality

July 16, 2014

Removal of a cataract and implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL) improves overall sleep quality and sleep latency, according to a study published online before print.

Removal of a cataract and implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL) improves overall sleep quality and sleep latency, according to a study published online before print in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

Researchers in the UK were seeking information on how the melanopsin-based photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGC's) regulate sleep/wake timing in patients who have cataracts. They used the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) to assess quality of sleep in 961 patients undergoing cataract surgery. The patients received either an ultraviolet blocking (UVB) clear IOL (498 patients) or a blue-filtering (BF) IOL (463 patients). The patients completed the PSQI questionnaires 1 month preoperatively and 1, 6 (UVB-IOL patients only) and 12 months postoperatively.

The researchers found that cataract removal - regardless of the type of IOL implanted - improved overall sleep quality significantly 1 month postoperatively. Sleep latency (the shortening in time to fall asleep) also improved, and the improvement was sustained at 6 and 12 months postoperatively.

"The key finding of this study is the sustained improvement in sleep latency after surgery irrespective of IOL type implanted. This result highlights a significant benefit of cataract surgery in addition to improvement in visual acuity," the researchers wrote.

To read the full study, visit the journal's website.