Q: I need cataract surgery and recently read an article on a new light adjustable lens, is that available now?

A: When undergoing cataract surgery in Long Beach, your SoCal Eye surgeon will remove the cataract lens and replace it with a new artificial lens, also known as an IOL. These lenses have a prescription tailored to your eyes unique measurements. Standard IOLs, which are covered by insurances, allow patients to have cataract free vision and many of these patients don’t need to wear glasses for distance vision. The magic of the light adjustable lens comes after the lens is implanted in the patient’s eye. Once implanted, the surgeon can use a special light to manipulate the light adjustable lens to minimize a patient’s refractive error, sharpening their vision even further. Although this lens is being used in Europe, it is not yet FDA approved for use in the United States. It is expecting FDA approval in Q4-2017.

While the light adjustable lens might have some potential advantages, it does not help with up close vision and reading glasses or bifocals will still be required to see up close. If near and intermediate vision is important to you, consider a premium lens implant. These lenses such as a multifocal or accommodative lens may allow patients to see in the distance, intermediate as well as up close, with little to no dependency on reading glasses or bifocals.  Ask your doctor which lenses might be best for your lifestyle and your unique vision.