Blog post by: Eye Physicians of Long Beach

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Are you struggling with cataracts, making it more challenging to see? Cataracts are simply part of the aging process, but dealing with worsening vision because of having them can be frustrating.

Fortunately, cataract surgery restores the clear vision that’s lost due to having cataracts. During cataract surgery, you’ll have the natural lens of your eye removed.

After removing it, the lens is then replaced with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens or IOL. There are many different kinds of IOLs available, including premium lenses.

One of the newest state-of-the-art premium lenses available is the light adjustable lens. The light adjustable lens is the first of its kind that allows you to customize your vision after cataract surgery.

By choosing the light adjustable lens, patients can achieve the vision they want after removing cataracts tailored perfectly for them. Keep reading to learn more about the light adjustable lens and determine if it may be right for you!

What is the Light Adjustable Lens?

The revolutionary light adjustable lens (LAL) is the only FDA-approved IOL that you can have adjusted and customized after cataract surgery, making it the first of its kind.

The light adjustable lens allows patients to personalize and customize their vision and delivers superior visual outcomes. Other IOLs can’t compete with the quality of vision that the light adjustable lens provides to patients. Even when comparing it to different premium lenses like the PanOptix trifocal lens or the Vivity IOL, the light adjustable lens outperforms them all.  

How Does the Light Adjustable Lens Compare to Other IOLs?

Choosing an IOL before having cataract surgery is a decision that you and your eye doctor make together, based on your visual needs, goals, and lifestyle. With so many intraocular lenses available, it can be overwhelming to try and pick the right one.

For the absolute best possible vision, the light adjustable lens stands out from the pack. With traditional IOLs, including non-adjustable premium lenses, your eye doctor will measure your eyes to ensure the IOL is as accurate as possible before implanting it during cataract surgery.

Your eye doctor can only make an educated guess, and once they’ve implanted the IOL, they have minimal options for adjusting the lens power. With the light adjustable lens, you’ll remove the guesswork out of calculating the proper prescription for your IOL. The reason for this is the LAL is made from a unique photosensitive material.

The photosensitive material allows the lens to change its shape and power in response to UV light. By changing its shape and strength, the LAL provides patients with eyesight that is often even better than before they had cataracts.

How the Light Adjustable Lens Works

The light adjustable lens is made from a photosensitive material that changes the power and shape of the implanted IOL once it’s exposed to UV light. Two to three weeks after having cataract surgery, you’ll visit your eye doctor.

During this appointment, you’ll be able to preview and compare what your vision could look like before selecting your desired visual outcome. Your eye doctor will then apply a proprietary UV light treatment at their office with the Light Delivery Device (LDD) to adjust the prescription of the light adjustable lens. The process is painless, non-invasive, and takes about 90 seconds.

You’ll receive anywhere between 3 to 5 total light treatments to achieve your visual goals. This can take about one to two weeks for most patients, depending on the number of light treatments you need to undergo before your vision is where you want it to be.

You’ll wait approximately three days between appointments before coming back for additional light treatments as needed. After having cataract surgery and having the LAL implanted, you’ll need to wear UV protective glasses.

You must wear these after cataract surgery at all times (except while sleeping, showering, or putting in eye drops) until you’ve finished your final light treatment. Wearing the glasses is extremely important because the light adjustable lens cannot be exposed to ultraviolet light. Any exposure to UV light can result in uncontrollable changes to the LAL, resulting in less than optimal vision.

The slight changes that occur on the LAL when UV light is carefully administered affect the sharpness of your vision at different distances. Before starting your next session, your eye doctor will ask you for feedback about where your eyesight is and how much optimization is necessary.

Once the light adjustable lens implant’s power is adjusted to your desired correction, your eye doctor will lock in your vision with a final light treatment. At this point, the lens power is permanently locked in, preventing further changes from occurring.

A study done by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed that patients with the light adjustable lens had a 200% chance of attaining 20/20 vision without prescription glasses compared to patients with the standard monofocal IOL.

Who is a Good Candidate for the Light Adjustable Lens?

Although the light adjustable lens can change your life, it’s not suitable for everyone. If you’ve undergone cataract surgery or previously had a vision correction procedure like PRK or LASIK, the LAL is perfect for you. You could also be a good candidate for this incredible premium lens if you:

  • Wish to reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses
  • Have healthy eyes and no underlying conditions
  • Haven’t had previous eye surgeries
  • Want to customize your vision after cataract surgery
  • Have astigmatism that’s at least 0.75 diopters and are undergoing cataract surgery

It’s important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for the light adjustable lens. You might not qualify for the LAL if you:

  • Have preexisting macular disease
  • Take medications that make you more sensitive to UV light
  • Have a history of eye infections due to herpes simplex
  • Take any prescriptions that could be harmful to your retina
  • Have uncontrolled eye movements called nystagmus
  • Find it hard to comply with the schedule for LDD light treatments

Customize Your Vision with the Light Adjustable Lens

Eye Physicians of Long Beach is pleased to offer our patients the light-adjustable lens. Its cutting-edge technology delivers superior vision outcomes other IOLs can’t match. Our eye doctors are top-rated cataract surgeons committed to bringing the newest and best technologies to our patients.

Want to experience the best vision possible with the light adjustable lens? Schedule your cataract screening with Eye Physicians of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA, to find out if this premium lens could be right for you!