A lens with a cobalt blue tint has been proven effective at controlling seizures in people with certain types of epilepsy.
“Photosensitive Epilepsy” is a disorder that causes seizures in people when they are exposed to flashing or flickering lights. A research study done in Italy using the Zeiss Z1 Blue lens showed that out of 610 patients studied who had photosensitive epilepsy, 94% of them had reduced or complete elimination of their seizure episodes while wearing them. The study results are exciting because currently there are only two other methods of controlling seizures in patients with this disorder – drug therapy and avoidance of light stimuli. Drug therapy carries side effects and can be expensive. Simply trying to avoid light flashes is not always effective as it can be difficult to predict when these will occur (even television can cause seizures). Most people who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy are children who have not had years of experience learning to avoid the types of lights that cause their seizures.
The reasons why this lens is so effective is not clearly understood. Since epilepsy results from abnormal activity in the brain caused by certain stimuli, it is thought that the Zeiss Z1 Lens blocks certain light wavelengths that stimulate seizures. Attempts to get similar results by using a generic blue-tinted lens were not effective.
Mountain View Optometry is one of the few practices in Canada where you can obtain the Zeiss Z1 lens. It is available in a wide variety of prescriptions and can even be used with a sunglass-style clip-on. Contact us to find out more about this exciting product if you or someone you know has epilepsy brought on by light exposure.
Epilepsia, 47(3):529–533, 2006
Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
2006 International League Against Epilepsy