Germanium ions have been implanted in fused silica using ion beams having energies of 3 and 5 MeV and doses ranging from 1×1012 to 5×1014 ions/cm2. For wavelengths shorter than 400 nm, the optical absorption increases strongly with two absorption bands appearing at 244 and 212 nm. The ion-induced optical absorption can be bleached almost completely by irradiation with 249 nm excimer laser light. Ion implantation also increases the refractive index of silica near the substrate surface. At 632.8 nm a refractive index increase of more than 10-2 has been measured. This decreases by 4×10-3 upon bleaching with 249 nm light.