New LAL – Light Adjustable Lens could improve eyesight

An artificial lens, the LAL (light-adjustable lens), could now improve people’s eyesight so far that they will be able to see in high definition. The idea has stemmed from a similar lens that was pioneered over sixty years ago to treat cataracts but could now go on to treat people with long or short sight, astigmatism and other eye conditions. The lens is inserted into the eye and then tailored to the particular patients need using a UV laser which changes the shape of the lens to each requirement.

If that wasn’t enough, the procedure itself only takes fifteen minutes and is carried out using a local anesthetic. A tiny incision is made in the eye to remove the cloudy lens which is broken down by an ultrasound before the new lens is placed in through the small cut where it unfolds in the eye. The lens is then corrected by a UV laser, taking just over a minute to change the shape. All patients then need to do is use eye drops for a month and return to the clinic to have the lens blasted with the UV laser once more to lock it into its place.

It can improve vision beyond what we have previously experienced as the lens itself can be tailored to correct imperfections we all have naturally in our eyes. Once these are corrected our eyesight could be improved beyond the normal 20/20 vision. This amazing breakthrough offers a guarantee to cataract patients that they weren’t able to achieve with the previous procedures. The operation is no more dangerous or risk-worthy than the normal procedures and could guarantee perfect vision again. It doesn’t just offer hope for cataract patients but people suffering from various different eye disorders including presbyopia which affects everyone over the age of 40. Offering the hope of a glasses-free future for many people.

Before you get too excited and hunt down your local eye clinic for the procedure, then think again. The surgery is still in its early stages and has only just come over the UK from the US meaning not many clinics have the equipment or expertise for the procedure as of yet. Equally, the current cost of the surgery is around £3,000 which is thought to be one of the reasons for its lack of appearance within the NHS.

8th December 2009

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