hen retired food critic and travel writer Heidi Yorkshire had cataract surgery at Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute, she chose a new-technology light adjustable lens (LAL) to replace her clouded natural lenses. This is the first and only lens implant that allows doctors to change its prescription after surgery.
Before cataract surgery, your doctor chooses a lens implant power. This helps determine when and how often you will need to use glasses.
With traditional lens implants, eye measurements and algorithms help estimate the lens power needed. However, several variables can prevent perfect accuracy.
The light adjustable lens implant is different. It can be fine-tuned after surgery with great accuracy. Patients use their new vision for a few days and then receive several UV light adjustments until they achieve the vision they desire—with the least possible need for glasses.
“I started wearing hard contact lenses as a preteen in the 1960s,” Heidi says. “I’ve spent my whole life with contacts and glasses. I’m 70 now. When I was 50, I had LASIK eye surgery. It was the greatest thing I’d ever done to improve my eyesight.” But now cataracts were clouding Heidi’s vision, and her optometrist referred her to PCLI for treatment.
“I’m a set-it-and-forget-it kind of person,” Heidi says. “As I learned about my options for treating cataracts, this seemed like a good opportunity to take advantage of new technology.”
TEST DRIVE AND ADJUST YOUR VISION
The light adjustable lens contains light-sensitive molecules. In the weeks after cataract surgery, PCLI doctors use computer-controlled patterns of light to change the lens’s shape and customize the prescription. Up to three light treatments can be done, which enables people to test-drive their vision and get adjustments until they have the prescription they want.
“It’s like a bionic woman thing,” Heidi says, laughing. “I was a good candidate, so I felt really good about moving forward.”
About three weeks went by after Heidi’s surgery, giving her eyes a chance to heal. “I had to wear UV-protective glasses until a number of light treatments were done. I think I looked like Bono!” she laughs. “But it was worth it. In one of my eyes, there was a big difference between an ideal correction and what I had before the first UV light treatment.”
Gentle and non-invasive light treatments take from 40 to 120 seconds and are repeated every three to seven days. Once optimal vision is achieved, the prescription is locked in with a final treatment.
“The light treatment wasn’t uncomfortable—kind of trippy, actually, because it was really bright,” Heidi recalls. “And well worth it. When we were done, I ended up with 20/15 vision in both eyes. I don’t need reading glasses or distance glasses. It was a real transformation.”
Heidi felt liberated. “So many things get worse as you get older,” she says. “It’s really wonderful to have something get better. At PCLI, every single thing—the appointments, the office efficiency, the explanations, and the follow up—was impeccable. I had a fantastic outcome.”
Customize Your Vision
With the Light Adjustable Lens
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World Class Care
We specialize in cataract surgery and LASIK laser vision correction. When you entrust us with the care of your vision, our team of experts concentrates their skills on giving you the best possible outcome. Having performed over 700,000 micro eye surgeries, we have earned a reputation for world class care.