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Light Adjustable Lenses: What You Need to Know

Light Adjustable Lenses & What You Need to Know

When you have cataract surgery, your clouded lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to restore your sight. It’s important to note, though, that all IOLs are not the same. Some premium lenses can even be used to improve your vision beyond just fixing the cataracts. Monofocal lenses correct near or far vision, while multi-focal lenses correct both near and far vision. Toric lenses are designed to help people with astigmatism and improve the quality of their vision. Now, there’s even a light adjustable lens option, which offers truly customized vision.

A light adjustable lens, as the name implies, can be adjusted using ultraviolet light treatments. Rather than being customized before it’s placed in the eye, however, it’s adjusted after the patient has healed from the cataract surgery. This is an amazing development for patients, because it provides more accurate results than traditional IOLs. In the past, if the IOL didn’t adequately improve vision, the only way to fix the problem would be to have the lens removed or replaced. While this was uncommon, the emergence of the adjustable lens means vision can be more precisely adjusted, with no guesswork. The doctor doesn’t have to estimate what you’ll need to improve your vision after the cataracts are removed, so you’re likely to have a better vision outcome.

The RxSight® is the first light adjustable lens, designed by a Nobel Prize winning scientist. Before this lens was developed, only about 60 percent of patients achieved their targeted vision, and fewer patients than that had excellent vision at all distances. This is not the fault of the surgeon, because it’s hard to predict how someone’s eye will heal before they’ve had the surgery. In a recent study of 600 patients, those who received a light adjustable lens, were twice as likely to experience 20/20 vision as those with a monofocal IOL.

A light adjustable lens is placed like any other IOL, but during the healing process the patient will need to wear protective glasses at all times to guard against UV exposure. Once the eyes have healed, the doctor will test visual acuity and give the patient different options to determine the best prescription. Light treatments will then be given with a Light Delivery Device (LDD) that uses UV light to adjust the lens. Most patients need two to three LDD sessions, and then the correct prescription is permanently locked into the eye.

There are some patients that may experience light adjustable lens problems or may not be good candidates for this kind of IOL. Some medications may make a patient more sensitive to UV light or be harmful to the retina. Patients who have a history of certain infections or uncontrollable eye movements aren’t good candidates for a light adjustable lens, and neither are patients who can’t wear the protective glasses or follow the LDD light treatments schedule. The best way to determine whether light adjustable lenses would be a good fit for you is to have a consultation with an experienced eye surgeon. Whenever you need an eye exam, trust Boulder Eye Surgeons to care for your eyes. Having served Boulder, Colorado and the surrounding area since 1997, Boulder Eye Surgeons utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide comprehensive medical and surgical eye care. We’re committed to enhancing quality of life through exceptional patient care, and our doctors and staff members are second to none. Request an appointment with our community-oriented practice to learn how we work to understand your needs and exceed your expectations, call us at (303) 943-1483, or contact us through our website.


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