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Health News

A New, Adjustable Cataract Lens

by Health After 50  

A new lens that can be adjusted for improved vision after cataract surgery has been approved by the FDA.

20/20 vision isn’t guaranteed after cataract surgery, and many patients require glasses or contact lenses to improve their eyesight. A newly FDA-approved intraocular lens (brand name: the RxSight Light Adjustable Lens and Light Deliver Device) can be adjusted to further improve vision shortlyafter surgery. Minor vision adjustments can be made within 17 to 21 days after cataract surgery with an in-office procedure during which doctors deliver ultraviolet light therapy to the new lens. Patients receive three or four light treatments over a period of one to two weeks, each lasting about 40 to 150 seconds, depending upon the amount of adjustment needed.

In a clinical trial submitted for the product's approval, patients who received the light-adjustable lens were, on average, able to see one line smaller on a vision chart compared with patients who received a conventional lens. Reported adverse effects included changes in color vision and corneal abrasions.

The new lens is approved for people with astigmatism, but not for individuals with macular degeneration or a history of ocular herpes simplex virus or who regularly take systemic medication that increases sensitivity to ultraviolet light. There’s no word yet on when the lens will be on the market.

What you can do: If you’d like to be able to sharpen your vision after surgery, ask your surgeon whether you could be a candidate for a light-adjustable lens when it becomes available.

This article first appeared in the May 2018 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.

Also see Protecting Your Aging Eyes.