Over the last decade, tremendous strides have been made when it comes to advances in eye care. Cataract procedures and recovery are important areas where incredible progress has been seen. We are excited to share more about one of these innovative new opportunities: The Light Adjustable Lens™ from RxSight®. Unfortunately, despite advances in modern cataract surgery, about 60% of patients achieve their targeted vision goals. This is because although the surgery provides life-changing outcomes, it is hard to predict how the eye will heal before the surgery. Amazingly, with the Light Adjustable Lens™, patients have the ability to fine-tune their vision after their cataract surgery. Here are some essential things to know if you’re considering this helpful option:
What is the Light Adjustable Lens™?
A Light Adjustable Lens™ (or LAL) is a specialized type of intraocular lens used in cataract surgeries to correct vision problems. Unlike traditional intraocular lenses which are made of a fixed material, the LAL has the ability to be adjusted after the initial surgery. This lens type is crafted from a specialized type of silicone that can be altered with exposure to UV light. After the surgeon implants the lens into the patient’s eye, they can then use a special light source to adjust the curvature of the lens. The UV light is then removed, and the lens amazingly retains its new shape and refractive properties. As the curvature is changed, the vision is also changed. The process of fine-tuning the vision can take up to several weeks and the patient will need to protect their eyes with special glasses doing this time to prevent any other UV exposure. Once the lens has been properly adjusted to the patient’s satisfaction, they can enjoy their improved vision. For patients who have had cataract surgery but still have residual astigmatism or myopia, the LAL offers a useful solution.
How is the vision adjusted?
Typically, 2-3 weeks after your initial surgery, you can be eligible to have your first light treatment which will adjust your vision. To receive the light treatments, you will be placed in front of a Light Delivery Device (also known as an LDD). The LDD will deliver UV light to your adjustable lens and is non-invasive. These simple and straightforward light treatments are done in the office of your eye care provider and last approximately 90 seconds. Three days after your light treatment, your vision will be re-assessed to see what changes will need to be made.This process will be repeated based on your vision goals and how you are progressing. Together, you and your eye doctor will determine what is best. Lastly, when you feel your vision is optimal, the lens power will be “locked in” with a final light treatment to prevent any additional changes.
Why do I need protective glasses during the transitional phase?
UV protective glasses are a critical part of your recovery and success. Unintended exposure to indoor and outdoor sources of UV light can cause unwanted and uncontrolled changes to your Light Adjustable Lens™. Because of this, you will be provided with the specialized glasses that you’ll need to wear during all waking hours from the time your lens is implanted until your very last treatment. However, while you are sleeping, showering, or washing your face, these glasses can be removed. Twenty-four hours after your last treatment, you can ditch the glasses and enjoy your customized and improved vision. To achieve optimal post-surgery results, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding the use of protective glasses and any other post-operative care.
Who is an ideal candidate for Light Adjustable Lens™?
This type of lens can be an excellent option for many patients undergoing cataract surgery or lens replacement surgery.
Good candidates for LALs typically include patients who:
- Have cataracts or other lens-related vision problems that require surgery
- Have healthy eyes and do not have significant underlying eye diseases or damage
- Are over the age of 18 and have stable vision
- Have not had previous eye surgery that would affect the outcome of LAL surgery
- Have realistic expectations for the outcome of LAL surgery and understand the potential risks and benefits
Patients who should avoid this type of surgery would usually include those who have significant eye disease or damage, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. Similarly, patients with severe corneal irregularities or other issues that affect the shape or function of the eye may not be good candidates. However, only your eye doctor can go over your complete medical history with you and determine if this surgery is right for your needs.
Why should I consider Light Adjustable Lens™ over a traditional IOL?
While both lenses can give patients the ability to experience better vision, the Light Adjustable Lens™ offers stronger and more customizable vision outcomes. For example, in a recent study of 600 subjects, those who received the Light Adjustable Lens™ instead of a traditional IOL (intraocular lens) were found to be twice as likely to achieve 20/20 vision.
At Medical Eye Center, we believe in informed and results-based care. Our experienced staff can help you decide which lens is best for you and your medical history, and which one will achieve your eyesight goals. Our compassionate approach is always to provide customized care and walk alongside you in your eye health journey. Reach out to us today to find out more about our Light Adjustable Lens™ and how it might be beneficial for you!