Do you have cataracts? Have you decided it’s time to get them removed and regain your ability to see clearly?
When you choose to have cataract surgery, you’re deciding to take back your vision. Cataracts can gradually cause severe vision loss and even lead to blindness.
Cataract surgeons recommend the procedure when your cataracts begin to affect your quality of life. Cataract surgery is a medically necessary procedure to save your vision.
There’s no reason why anyone needs to walk around with cataracts impacting their ability to see permanently. But deciding to have cataract surgery isn’t the only decision you have to make.
Another crucial decision before having cataract surgery is deciding what kind of intraocular lens or IOL you want. If this sounds daunting, know that your ophthalmologist will recommend what they think will suit you best.
Their recommendation takes your lifestyle and visual needs after cataract surgery into account. With so many IOLs available, it can feel like a difficult decision to make.
One of the newest and most exciting new IOLs to become available is the Light Adjustable Lens. Omaha Eye & Laser Institute is thrilled to offer the Light Adjustable Lens to our cataract patients. Keep reading to learn more about the Light Adjustable Lens and to find out if it may be the right IOL for you!
Cataract Surgery and IOLs
Cataracts form on the natural lens of the eye. The only way to remove a cataract is to remove the lens itself.
Cataract surgery involves removing the natural lens to remove the cataract. But removing your natural lens would leave your eye without a vital component, making it almost impossible to see.
That’s why you also have your natural lens replaced with an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, during cataract surgery. Cataracts usually start forming in your forties or fifties.
Another common age-related condition that starts developing around the same time as cataracts is presbyopia. Presbyopia is the decreased ability to focus up close.
Because patients with cataracts frequently also have some degree of presbyopia, most IOLs will also help correct presbyopia. When you get cataract surgery, you can choose which IOL you want.
Only one kind, the monofocal lens, is considered “standard” and usually covered by insurance. For patients that want better vision after cataract surgery, premium lenses are often the way to go.
Premium IOLs cost more, and you’ll need to pay for them out of pocket. But they offer better vision than a monofocal IOL and reduced dependence on reading glasses.
The Light Adjustable Lens is a premium IOL, but it’s set apart from other kinds of premium IOLs because of its unique technology.
What is the Light Adjustable Lens?
The Light Adjustable Lens is the only premium IOL that allows you to adjust your vision after having cataract surgery. When you choose other kinds of premium IOLs, your cataract surgeon relies on your pre-surgical vision.
It can be hard to predict precisely what your post-surgical vision will be. Before cataract surgery, cataracts hinder your visual acuity.
Because of this, your vision will likely change a little after cataract surgery. Many cataract surgeons are skilled in predicting post-surgical vision, but no one can truly know what your vision will be like.
Since you can adjust the Light Adjustable Lens to your post-surgical vision, it helps ensure you achieve the best eyesight possible.
How the Light Adjustable Lens Works
You’ll have the Light Adjustable Lens placed into your eye during cataract surgery as you would with any IOL. After removing the natural lens, your cataract surgeon will fold up the IOL and put it in your eye through a tiny incision. Your surgeon then unfurls the IOL and positions it.
After cataract surgery, your eyes will need some time to recover. You’ll go to your eye doctor’s office two to three weeks after the procedure for your first light treatment.
The Light Adjustable Lens is made of photosensitive material. When exposed to a special device (called the Light Delivery Device) that emits UV light, it shapes your lens to your desired outcome and prescription.
Three days after your first light treatment, you will have a second one. Many patients fully adjust after two treatments, but it usually takes three to five treatments to achieve optimal results.
You’ll have each treatment performed approximately three days after your last one. It won’t take long to reach your best vision, even if your eyes take longer to adjust.
Cataract Surgery Recovery with the Light Adjustable Lens
Recovery from cataract surgery with the Light Adjustable Lens is quick and painless. The only difference is that you’ll have to wear a pair of special UV blocking glasses at all times until completing your light treatments.
You will have to wear these glasses during the two to three weeks of recovery and between light treatments. You can take them off to sleep, shower, and wash your face.
It’s essential to wear them the rest of the time. If you have any exposure to UV light before your Light Adjustable Lens is fully adjusted, it can affect the results you’re trying to achieve. But once you’ve finished all your Light Adjustable Lens treatments, you’ll no longer need these glasses and can go about life as usual.
Be sure to talk to your eye doctor about the Light Adjustable Lens and cataract surgery to understand potential risks. You can ask questions and ensure you have the right expectations before the procedure.
The Light Adjustable Lens is an excellent choice for many cataract surgery patients, but there are other options. Your eye doctor can help you decide what kind of IOL is right for you.
Do you think the Light Adjustable Lens may be the premium IOL for you? Schedule a cataract consultation at Omaha Eye & Laser Institute in Omaha, NE, for more information about this incredible premium lens!