Light Adjustable Intraocular Lenses (LAL) are a type of artificial lens used in cataract surgery to replace the nature lens of the eye. These lenses are unique because they can be adjusted after implantation to fine-tune the patient’s visual outcome.
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL). Traditional IOLs have a fixed prescription, meaning that any residual refractive error (e.g., nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) needs to be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or additional surgical procedures. However, LALs offer the advantage of postoperative adjustment to optimize visual acuity without the need for additional surgery.
LALs are made of a special photosensitive material that reacts to specific wavelengths of light. After the initial implantation, the patient wears special glasses outdoors to block UV light from the surface of the lens until healing has taken place. UV light exposure causes chemical changes within the lens, altering its refractive properties. This fact allows the ophthalmologist to use a specialized treatment device (RxSight) to fine tune the lens by adjusting through light exposure the desired visual correction.
The adjustment process typically involves multiple visits to the ophthalmology office where the lens is exposed to different light patterns to achieve the desired outcome. The procedure is in-office, non-invasive and painless. The whole process requires the patient’s active participation and compliance with the postoperative light exposure protocol.
LALs have shown promising results in improving patient’s visual outcomes compared to traditional fixed power IOLs. They offer the potential for postoperative adjustments to correct any residual refractive error and reduce dependency on glasses or contact lenses. However, it is important to note that LALs are not suitable for everybody, and the decision to use them should be made on an individual basis after careful consideration of the patient’s unique circumstances and needs.
As with any medical procedure or treatment, it’s crucial to consult with an ophthalmologist who can provide personalized advice and guidance based upon your specific situation.