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What are Light-Adjusting Lenses?

The light adjusting lens (LAL is a ground-breaking new type of artificial lens that’s inserted into the eye during cataract surgery. The most outstanding feature of this new intraocular lens (IOL) is that the prescription can be altered in-situ.  

Light adjusting lenses offer cataract surgeons an additional, advanced option to offer patients who are due to undergo surgery.

Light Adjusting Lenses 101: Everything You Need to Know

  • How do light adjusting lenses work?
  • Who can have light adjusting lenses?
  • Are there any downsides to light adjusting lenses? 

How do light adjusting lenses work?

Light adjusting lenses have a unique makeup that includes light-sensitive elements that are embedded into them. These can be targeted with a special type of UV beam of light using equipment known as a Light Delivery Device. Doing this creates subtle alterations to the shape of the lens, changing the power and focus.

This is usually carried out a few weeks after cataract surgery after completion of the healing process. It typically takes a few sessions in the surgeon’s office to tweak the lens to the exact prescription needed. This is carried out on a regular outpatient visit and takes around 90 seconds to perform. When both you and your surgeon are happy that optimal vision is reached, the prescription is locked in. After this, the prescription can’t be changed.

Who can have light adjusting lenses?

Light adjusting lenses can be used to fine-tune:

  • Shortsightedness.
  • Longsightedness.
  • Astigmatism.

However, having certain medical conditions might mean that LALs aren’t suitable. These include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Macular degeneration.
  • A history of eye infections.
  • Hypersensitivity to UV light (or if you take medication that increases this).
  • Nystagmus (uncontrolled eye movements).
  • A history of herpes.

If you’re unable to return for multiple sessions to have the lenses adjusted post-surgery, then this would preclude you from having them fitted.

Are there any downsides to light adjusting lenses?

The greatest downside of light adjusting lenses is the cost. As they’re a relatively new addition to the suite of IOLs available, they tend to come with a higher price tag. There are also not that many locations and surgeons across the US (yet) that are equipped with the skills and equipment to offer LALs to their patients.

It’s also necessary to avoid exposure to UV rays until the prescription is locked in. This might mean staying out of the sun altogether or, at the very least, the meticulous wearing of protective glasses during this time.

Prospective LAL patients should also be aware that:

  • There’s a risk of slight over or under-correction during the tweaking process.
  • Not all cataract surgeons are familiar with the correction process. There will be a (probably quite lengthy) period until the use of light adjusting lenses is freely available across the U.S.
  • You’ll need to return to the surgeon’s office multiple times post-op. This could be a logistical challenge in some cases.

Get Light Adjusting Lenses and Other Advanced Cataract Care at the WBEC

Light adjusting lenses are just one option of IOL that will be discussed during your pre-cataract surgery consultation at the WBEC. The key to the best results from a cataract procedure is a combination of having the operation at the correct time, the skill of the surgeon, the choice of IOL, and the ultimate medical backup to support you through the entire journey.

Nowhere is this done better than at the academic-grade West Boca Eye Center. From the expertise of one of the world’s best cataract surgeons—Brent Bellotte M.D.—to the state-of-the-art facilities, IOL options, and superior supporting medical team, patients benefit from the very best care from the moment of first contact.

Discover more about Brent Bellotte and other great cataract surgeons in the US at

What are Light-Adjusting Lenses?
What are Light-Adjusting Lenses?

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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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