For some patients, cataract surgery doesn’t mean ditching your glasses after the procedure. But the FDA’s approval of the innovative UV Adjustable IOL (intraocular lens), could potentially increase the number of people who are able to go “spectacle-free” after cataract surgery. So, what is a UV Adjustable IOL? Let’s start with the basics.
IOL (intraocular lens)
Because the aging process makes it more difficult for our natural lens to refract light rays entering the eye, vision can become blurry and impaired. To correct this during cataract surgery, the eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens or IOL. Your doctor will take precise measurements and calculations of the eye to determine the best position for the lens.
The challenge lies in how closely the surgeon can pinpoint the exact location the lens will fit once the eye heals. The more accurate the surgeon is in identifying the position – the more likely the patient is to have 20/20 vision. Through experience and skill, the doctor anticipates where the lens will rest following surgery. However, no two eyes are the same and even when using the most advanced tools available, a small lens adjustment may improve the outcome.
Customize Those Eyes
The UV Adjustable IOL, or RxLAL, essentially takes the guesswork out of it to a large degree and gives the doctor the ability to customize the lens to the patient post-surgery. This means the lens is adjusted after the eye has healed, using low-intensity ultraviolet light. To break it down even further, the patient’s own prescription is actually used to adjust the lens until the desired results are achieved. The UV treatment is administered in multiple visits about 2-3 weeks after cataract surgery and is applied directly to the lens for 40 seconds to 3 minutes depending on the patient. The UV light literally changes the shape of the lens, modifying it based on the prescription entered and ultimately, improving the patient’s vision.
The treatment is painless and requires several additional trips to the doctor after surgery, but the reported results have been excellent. The study performed by the FDA indicated that twice as many patients achieved 20/20 or better vision as a result of the UV Adjustable IOL. It’s important to note that patients must wear UV protective glasses while the treatment is ongoing to protect the eyes from external UV light in the environment.
Innovative advances in ophthalmology can give patients a whole new lease on life. If you or someone you know is experiencing blurry or impaired vision, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Contact the professionals at Tyson Eye Care Centers for a consultation today.