Dr. Vital of Houston Eye Associates answers the top five questions on the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL) by RxSight.
1. What is a light adjusting lens?
The Light Adjustable Lens is a revolutionary way of correcting vision with cataract surgery. Most intraocular lenses (IOLs) that are placed during cataract surgery are “fixed”. They have a set power or prescription that is carefully estimated with measurements before surgery that cannot be changed after surgery. The LAL uses these same measurements, but is able to be painlessly adjusted after surgery with a special light to which the lens is exposed. This allows for unique customization for nearsightness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
2. Are light adjustable lenses worth it?
As we appreciate, vision is highly valuable. When vision is dulled by cataracts, and the goal is to improve vision with cataract surgery, most patients want to be careful to make the “correct” choice. It’s here that the LAL really stands out. Yes, the LAL does involve extra costs that are not insignificant and not covered by Medicare or private insurance. The LAL gives you as the patient the control to experience your vision with the cataract removed and then adjust it to your preference. It is that adjustability and precision to help you achieve your best vision that makes the Light Adjustable Lens worth it.
3. How does the Light Adjustable Lens work?
The LAL is made of a highly specialized silicone that has the ability to change shape when exposed to a special type of light. A coating called Active Shield prevents daily ambient light from the sun and indoor lightbulbs from causing this change. A machine called the Light Delivery Device (LDD) exposes the LAL to light in a way that is matched to the prescription you need to achieve sharp vision after cataract surgery to cause the customized shape change for each of your eyes. Notably, if necessary, up to three adjustments can be made before the lens is locked into place to avoid future changes.
4. Does the Light Adjustable Lens cause glare and halos like multifocal lenses?
One of the complaints of patients who have had premium multifocal lenses used for cataract surgery is the side effect of glare and halos. The LAL avoids these problems because of the way it bends light. It does not use diffractive optics like many of the multifocal lenses do. This allows for a better quality of vision to go along with the superior acuity of vision.
5. Can the Light Adjustable Lens be used to correct astigmatism?
The LAL is an excellent choice to correct astigmatism. The currently available fixed toric intraocular lenses for astigmatism have to be aligned in a specific orientation at the time of the cataract surgery. That orientation and the amount of astigmatism needed to be corrected can change during the surgery itself and thus throw off the original measurements and come up short in providing sharp vision. The LAL avoids this problem by having the ability to be fine-tuned after the potential changes from the surgery have occurred. The result is increased precision and accuracy in astigmatic correction which you will experience as sharper vision.
Call Dr. Vital’s office at 713-668-6828 x2395 to learn more about options for cataract surgery and the RxSight Light Adjustable Lens.
More information on cataract surgery in Houston with Dr. Vital can be found HERE.