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Light Adjustable Lens | Q&A

Posted by: Northwest Eye in Cataract Surgery, News on April 11, 2023

Light Adjustable Lens Q&A

The Light Adjustable Lens is a new and exciting lens technology now available for cataract patients at Northwest Eye. While most cataract surgery requires patients and doctors to select a lens power before surgery, this new lens offers patients the opportunity to customize their vision after cataract surgery. Dr. Jesse Dovich, a cataract specialist and surgeon at Northwest Eye, offers deeper insight into this new customized lens for cataract patients.

The Light Adjustable Lens works by utilizing UV light rays to adjust the polymers within the optic of the lens, which creates customized vision targets after surgery. The cataract surgery itself is the same; the cataract is removed and replaced with a new intraocular lens. What makes the Light Adjustable Lens unique compared to other lens options is the polymer material within the lens. These photosensitive polymers allow us to imprint the residual refractive error into the lens, which will maximize clarity for either distance or near vision. This allows the lens to be adjusted after surgery to your vision goals for the clearest vision possible.

After traditional cataract surgery (with a standard intraocular lens), patients will likely wear glasses for many activities. With Light Adjustable Lenses, the prescription can be adjusted after the procedure to the patient’s desired vision goals. Once the eye is healed, a prescription measurement will be taken and imprinted into the lens with a proprietary light treatment. Over the course of a few sessions, patients can try different prescriptions and adjust their preference, before the final “lock-in” treatment. This ability to customize the lens power, test drive different vision types, and select a final vision after surgery was not possible before the advent of Light Adjustable Lenses.

In the weeks following surgery with the Light Adjustable Lens, patients will be provided UV-blocking glasses to protect the lens from sunlight. These are recommended to be worn during all waking hours until the last light treatment is complete. The patient and their doctor will work through a few light treatment sessions to achieve the desired visual outcome. The lens will be customized at each light session, which allows the patient to decide what prescription works best for them.

Generally, the initial light treatment will occur 2–3 weeks after the cataract surgery is complete. The follow-up light treatments are usually scheduled every 3 days after the first treatment, with most patients receiving a total of 2-4 light treatments. Once the desired prescription is achieved, the doctor will use a final light treatment to lock the lens, so its prescription never changes.

Since this technology incorporates both the pre-operative measurements of the eye and the post-operative healing into the final prescription, the need to delay and separate the surgery between the two eyes is less important. Many patients planning to have surgery in both eyes are offered the option of same-day bilateral cataract surgery, so both eyes can be adjusted with the light treatments simultaneously. Please discuss this with your surgeon to see if you are a candidate.

Yes, the Light Adjustable Lens can be a great option for patients who have been diagnosed with astigmatism. Most patients with less than three diopters of astigmatism would be excellent candidates for this lens. It is especially useful for patients with a previous history of LASIK surgery, as they have elevated expectations for excellent vision, and sometimes the ability to optimize vision with older cataract lens technology is limited in a post-LASIK eyeball as the LASIK surgery induces subtle changes in most corneas.

Wonderful vision!  Patients with the Light Adjustable Lens can see distance to drive, read the dashboard of their car, and then pick up items in the grocery store to read the labels. While patients may prefer a light pair of reading glasses when reading very fine print, most daily activities will be free of glasses or contacts for Light Adjustable Lens patients. In addition, this technology does not use trifocal rings to generate sweet spots in the vision, so the Light Adjustable Lens has minimal risk of post-surgical glare and halos.

A great candidate is anyone wanting the widest range of functional vision with the least amount of glare and halos after surgery. Many LASIK patients who are told they are not great candidates for Trifocal Lens Technologies, or other Advanced Package Technologies, may be candidates for a Light Adjustable Lens, as it can compensate for some LASIK-induced changes created in the cornea during LASIK surgery.

Be Eye Wise and talk with your Northwest Eye cataract surgeon about the Light Adjustable Lens! To schedule an appointment, click here or call us at (763) 416-7600.


Serving Our Community

With six locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area, Northwest Eye is among the largest eye care providers in the Midwest. Be Eye Wise and schedule a general eye exam or a specific service consultation today. We have optical  at the following offices:  Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, St. Anthony, and Wayzata, MN.

8501 Golden Valley Rd.,
Suite 100 & 200
Golden Valley, MN 55427
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12501 Whitewater Drive, Suite 110
Minnetonka, MN 55343
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12000 Elm Creek Blvd N., Suite 100
Maple Grove, MN 55369
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2601 39th Ave NE., Suite 1
St. Anthony, MN 55421
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250 Central Ave N., Suites 105 & 107, Optical Suite 106
Wayzata, MN 55391
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7125 Tamarack Rd, Suite 150,
Woodbury, MN 55125
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11091 Ulysses St NE., Suite 400
Blaine, MN 55434
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9801 Dupont Ave S., Suite 100
Bloomington, MN 55431
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10709 Wayzata Blvd., Suites 100 & 120
Minnetonka, MN 55305
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