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Pros and Cons of Light Adjustable Lens

If you’ve been told you’ve got cataracts and/or are almost ready for surgery, you may well have heard of a breakthrough in intraocular lenses. Known as light adjustable lenses (LAL), they provide your surgeon with the ability to adjust them after they’ve been implanted. 

Such customization is ground-breaking. However, as with all new technology, it’s important to understand the disadvantages—as well as the advantages—before you decide which might be best for you.

Light Adjustable Intraocular Lenses Explained

  • What are light adjustable lenses?
  • Understanding the pros and cons of light adjustable lenses.

What are light adjustable lenses?

In the simplest terms, light adjustable intraocular lenses (IOLs) can have their focusing abilities changed after they’ve been sited in the eye. This is an incredible technological breakthrough… No longer are you stuck with the refractive power that suited you when your operation was performed or the risk that it’s not right. Your surgeon can easily alter the focus of an LAL after the procedure.

While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, light adjustable lenses are now being fitted to suitable patients—and this is potentially a game changer in certain cases.

The lens is altered using special light treatments, something that takes minutes in the doctor’s office and doesn’t require a further operation.

Understanding the pros and cons of light adjustable lenses

OK… So light adjustable lenses sound great. However, as with every scientific advancement, you need to look at both sides to determine if they might be an option worth exploring.

The pros:

  • Customizable post-cataract procedure: Smaller refractive issues can be adjusted after your operation.
  • Improves post-op vision: Thanks to being adjustable, any small visual imperfections can be fine-tuned without the need for another procedure.
  • A life without glasses: While many people do enjoy a life free from eyeglasses with regular lenses, the chances are much increased with the evolution of light adjustable lenses.
  • A more personalized approach to your visual care: Each of us has our own vision nuances. Adjustable lenses mean that these individualities can be addressed, with tweaks made in real-time—much in the same way that your eyeglasses and/or contact lens prescription is honed exactly to your requirements.

The cons:

  • They’re not suitable for everyone: Certain eye conditions might exclude you from being a candidate.
  • The expense: As with all brand-new technology, the cost might be prohibitive. They’re more expensive than most other types of lenses and may or may not be covered by your health insurance.
  • Not all surgeons can fit them: Again, being new means that not all surgeons will have undergone the specialized training necessary to be able to implant them.
  • UV exposure: UV light is used to alter the prescription. While this is, of course, in a controlled environment, it won’t be until they’ve been in regular use for decades that it will be fully determined if such exposure has a detrimental effect. In addition, you’ll have to minimize any eye exposure to natural UV light until the lens has become what’s known as “locked in”. This typically takes a few weeks.

Multiple clinical trials and studies have been performed, all of which have had very favorable results in both patient satisfaction and safety. The best way to determine if a light adjustable IOL is right for you is in conjunction with your ophthalmologic surgeon. While there are limitations to the technology, there’s no doubt that they’ll significantly reduce the number of secondary procedures that are typically seen when implanting regular IOLs.

Many people have achieved near or perfect vision with light adjustable IOLs—although it’s important to know that you will require several post-op procedures in the doctor’s office to carry out the necessary adjustments.

Want to Know More About Light Adjustable Lenses? Contact the WBEC Today

When deciding which IOL will work best for your needs you need to take advice from your surgeon. No one is better placed to discuss this than the lead clinician at the West Boca Eye Center—Dr. Brent Bellotte MD.

He’s dedicated his professional career to the advancement of cataract surgery and is a highly respected expert in the global ophthalmology community. 

Discover more at and call today to schedule a consultation.

Pros and Cons of Light Adjustable Lens
Pros and Cons of Light Adjustable Lens

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Specializing in modern cataract surgery.

Located 1/2 miles North of West Boca Medical Center on Glades Road, directly behind Macy's Furniture Gallery.

West Boca Eye Center
9325 Glades Road, Suite 201.
Boca Raton, FL 33434

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