Light Adjustable Lenses Having Patients Seeing Things Clearly

Ophthalmology is a high stakes medical field where every day the decisions made by ophthalmic surgeons could mean the difference between 20/20 vision and complete blindness. In fact, the eye is one of the most complex and delicate systems in the human body requiring great precision and care no matter what the ailment, from fitting glasses to performing cataract surgery. Often ophthalmic surgical procedures have only one shot to fix an existing problem. Once the surgery is complete, changing or making adjustments to the eye is extremely high-risk and often ill-advised.

Unfortunately this means that for patients who undergo cataract surgery and have their lenses replaced with a prosthetic intraocular lens (IOL) that their vision can no longer be corrected or adjusted further than the strength of the IOL. This means that patients often still need to use reading or other corrective glasses to see well, and their previous visual acuity may never be fully restored. Well, at least that was true until very recently.

New and exciting ocular technology is allowing surgeons to adjust IOLs for errors in the preoperative measurements and variations in how a patient’s eye may heal following cataract surgery. Light Adjustable Lenses (LALs) were developed to finally develop an IOL that could be adjusted, focused and even corrective without invasive surgical measures once the IOL has been implanted in the patient’s eye.

LALs are a 3 piece silicone lens made of photosensitive materials called macromers that are sensitive and react to UV light of a specific wavelength. When the macromers are exposed to this specific wavelength of UV light they photopolymerize, which is just a fancy way of saying change the shape and curvature of the lens. The incredible part of this science is that by using patterned UV light on the LAL, the curvature of the lens can be customized to a patient’s needs.

So, if a patient needs to have their LAL adjusted to near or far vision or even create a bifocal, it can be done. The even better news is that this technology is already being implemented in both Europe and Mexico and will hopefully come to the U.S. once it gets FDA approval. Developers of this technology believe that eventually lens implants can be adjusted non-invasively in a quick doctor’s visit or two. Plus, patients will also have the potential to not require corrective glasses while retaining their near, intermediate and distance vision.

UV Light can be measured by our Instrument Systems line of Spectrometers such as the CAS120 and CAS140 series.

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