New IOL Used in Cataract Surgery Could End Need for Glasses

Optometrist Smiles at Cataract PatientMany people still need to wear glasses after cataract surgery, but a new intraocular lens (IOL) could be your ticket to being glasses-free.

What is the RxLAL Intraocular Lens

The light-adjustable intraocular lens, or RxLAL, is a three-piece foldable lens that provides the ultimate level of customization. Made of a special photoreactive silicone material, RxLAL responds to low beams of ultraviolet light and can be “locked in” at your desired settings.

How the RxLAL Works

About two weeks after cataract surgery, you’ll have a post-op visit with your ophthalmologist. As you sit in front of the light delivery device, your prescription will be entered onto a display screen. The specified profile of light will hit the surface of the RxLAL and refract the lens to your customized prescription. When you wake up the following day, you’ll notice your vision has been improved.

Studies show that 30 to 50 percent of people who have cataract surgery still need glasses after the procedure, so the ability to customize lens power is a significant advancement. Some experts call the RxLAL “a game changer” (AAO). A recent FDA study revealed that twice as many patients could see 20/20 or better after their prescription was “set” into the RxLAL lens compared to standard IOLs.

Cost of RxLAL IOL

The RxLAL doesn’t yet have a price tag, but it’s considered a premium lens because it’s not a medical necessity. This means you’d be financially responsible for some or all of the procedure, depending on your type of health insurance. Most health insurance companies and Medicare will cover the cost of a monofocal lens but not a premium lens.

Is the New IOL Right for You?

Talk to one of our ophthalmologists about which type of IOL is best for your vision. The RxLAL also requires additional time and patience. You’ll have additional follow-up visits with your ophthalmologist, and you’ll have to wear UV protective glasses between your cataract surgery and the final UV treatment. But many patients deem this a small sacrifice for going glasses-free!

Click here to find a board-certified ophthalmologist in your area.

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