In the realm of vision correction, we have continually advanced from basic eyeglasses to the scientific marvels of LASIK and, now, to a new pinnacle: Light Adjustable Lenses (LAL). Brinton Vision is proud to be part of this technological evolution, leading the charge in providing innovative and personalized vision correction solutions for our patients in St. Louis and beyond.
Dr. Jason Brinton, a distinguished ophthalmologist with fellowship training and board certification, founded Brinton Vision with a mission to enhance patients’ lives through vision correction. His expertise extends to a broad array of vision correction procedures, notably utilizing Light Adjustable Lenses. Dr. Brinton’s fervor and unwavering commitment to uplifting the quality of patients’ lives via vision correction have cemented his reputation as a leading authority in this domain.
The Technological Revolution: LAL
The journey of vision correction technology is marked by significant milestones, each one bringing us closer to achieving the best possible results for patients. The latest revolution in this field is the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL), a truly groundbreaking innovation that was FDA approved in 2017. Vision correction technology has come a long way since the invention of eyeglasses around the 13th century. From then on, significant strides have been made in this field, eventually leading up to the development of the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL). Let’s take a brief walk through this evolution:
- Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses are the earliest form of vision correction technology, dating back to Italy in the late 13th century. Over time, glasses evolved to correct a variety of refractive errors, including myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism. Bifocal and multifocal lenses were introduced in the 18th century, helping people with presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) see clearly at different distances.
- Contact Lenses: Contact lenses were the next significant breakthrough, first introduced in the late 19th century. Early contact lenses were made from glass, then hard plastic. In the 1960s, soft contact lenses were invented, offering improved comfort. The 1970s saw the introduction of gas permeable rigid lenses, which offered the clarity of hard lenses with the comfort of soft lenses.
- Refractive Surgery: Starting from the mid-20th century, various refractive surgeries were developed to correct refractive errors permanently. Procedures like radial keratotomy (RK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) were precursors to LASIK, which was widely adopted in the late 1990s and early 2000s. LASIK is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration and uses a laser to reshape the cornea, correcting refractive errors. Its success spurred the development of other laser-based procedures like PRK and SMILE.
- Intraocular Lenses (IOLs): IOLs, introduced in the 1940s, were initially used to replace the natural lens after cataract surgery. IOL implantation evolved over time, and now, multifocal and toric IOLs can correct presbyopia and astigmatism, respectively.
- Phakic IOLs: In the 1950’s, phakic intraocular lenses were developed. Unlike standard IOLs, these lenses are used in addition to the natural lens to correct severe myopia or hyperopia.
- Corneal Inlays and Onlays: Corneal inlays and onlays are small, thin devices implanted into the cornea. They were developed in the 1940’s to correct presbyopia.
- Light Adjustable Lenses (LAL): The most recent advancement in vision correction technology is the Light Adjustable Lens. These advanced IOLs, made of a special photosensitive material, are implanted into the eye to replace the natural lens, similar to traditional IOLs. However, LALs can be further adjusted post-operatively using UV light to fine-tune the patient’s vision, ensuring the best possible visual outcome.
LALs are intraocular lenses (IOLs) made of a special photosensitive material that allows for customized vision correction. Unlike traditional IOLs, which are pre-set with a fixed focusing power, LALs are adjustable and adaptable. Once implanted into the eye, the refractive power of these lenses can be fine-tuned using UV light, allowing us to correct vision with unprecedented precision. The customizable and adjustable vision correction that LALs provide is life-changing and raises the bar when it comes to vision correction.
There are several advantages to this approach. Improved visual acuity is the most immediate benefit, but the flexibility of LALs also allows surgeons to address common vision problems such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism with greater accuracy than ever before. Furthermore, the potential for post-operative adjustments means that we can refine the results to best suit the patient’s needs and lifestyle.
The Science behind LAL
At the heart of the LAL technology is a unique photosensitive material that changes shape when exposed to UV light. When targeted UV light is applied to the lens, it alters the shape of the photosensitive material, changing the refractive power of the lens. This innovative interaction between UV light and the photosensitive lens material is what allows us to adjust and fine-tune vision correction.
The development of Light Adjustable Lenses (LALs) represents years of dedicated research, extensive trials, and rigorous testing. A significant amount of work has been devoted to the materials science, surgical procedures, and post-operative care associated with this innovative technology.
The photosensitive material is composed of a silicon-based polymer embedded with special photoreactive macromers. This substance was the result of years of research in polymer chemistry. The aim was to find a material that responds to receiving light exposure, allowing the lens to change shape, and thereby altering the refractive properties. This photosensitive material needed to be biocompatible, ensuring that it was safe for implantation in the human body, and it also needed to be stable enough to provide long-term vision correction.
Researchers also had to ensure the lens adjustment would be precise and reliable after implantation. Additionally, manufacturing processes needed to be developed to produce these lenses with consistent quality.
The development of a system to deliver the UV light in a controlled and precise manner was another critical part of LAL research and development. This led to the creation of the Light Delivery Device (LDD), which emits controlled amounts of UV light to achieve the desired lens adjustments.
Before approval, LALs underwent rigorous clinical trials to demonstrate their safety and efficacy. These trials took several years and involved multiple stages, including initial safety tests, small-scale trials to demonstrate potential effectiveness, larger trials to confirm efficacy, and post-marketing studies to monitor long-term results.
Finally, the development of LALs also required research into the surgical techniques for implanting the lenses and the post-operative care required for patients. This includes the lens adjustment process and patient guidelines to prevent premature adjustment due to accidental UV exposure.
The development of Light Adjustable Lenses represents a significant achievement in vision correction technology, showcasing how years of dedicated research can lead to innovative solutions. The LALs have the potential to provide a more personalized, precise form of vision correction that could significantly improve the quality of life for many patients.
The LAL Adjustment Process: Precision and Flexibility
One of the key advantages of LAL technology is the adjustment process, which is non-invasive and conducted as an outpatient procedure. Typically, this process involves 2-3 sessions of targeted UV light application, which can be comfortably carried out at our Brinton Vision clinic.
A customized prescription is created for the patient based on their lifestyle needs and refraction, and then a short and painless procedure using an in-office Light Delivery Device (LDD) is used to customize the IOL using UV light. A UV light source, electronic control circuit, and an additional optical projection system make up the LDD. A contact lens put over the cornea concentrates the UV light on the IOL.
This precision of this process allows for the lens’ refractive power to be fine-tuned post-surgery, an approach that was previously unachievable with traditional IOLs. This fine-tuning capacity opens up new possibilities in vision correction, allowing us to address subtle changes in vision that would have been challenging to correct with previous technologies.
The adjustment process of the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL) is a unique and crucial aspect of its function, allowing for precise vision correction after the initial eye surgery.
Here’s how the process typically works:
- Healing Period: After the initial surgery, where the LAL is implanted, there is a healing period. During this time, the eye and the newly implanted lens adjust naturally to each other as the eyes heal. This healing process can vary from person to person, but it typically takes a few months to settle into position.
- First Adjustment Session: Once your eye has sufficiently healed, the first adjustment session is scheduled. In this session, the eye is exposed to a precise amount of ultraviolet (UV) light using a device called a Light Delivery Device (LDD). This UV light exposure triggers a reaction in the photosensitive material of the LAL, changing its shape to better correct vision. This process is non-invasive and usually takes about 4-5 minutes. The changes made to the lens are based on the individual’s visual needs, which are determined through a comprehensive eye examination and measurements.
- Evaluation: Following each UV light treatment session, your vision will be assessed to see how well the adjustment has worked and whether further changes are needed.
- Additional Adjustment Sessions: If necessary, additional sessions are scheduled to further refine your vision after having the lens adjusted initially. Generally, 2-3 adjustment sessions are available to achieve optimal vision correction, but this can vary based on individual needs.
- Lock-in Procedure: After the final adjustment session, a “lock-in” treatment is performed. This lockin treatment involves applying a different wavelength of UV light to the lens to cease its photosensitivity, thus preventing any further changes in its shape. After this, the adjustment process is considered complete, and the lens should provide stable vision correction.
- Follow-up Care: Regular follow-up appointments with your ophthalmologist are recommended to monitor your eye health and ensure the LAL is functioning as intended.
It’s important to note that during the adjustment process, patients are required to wear UV-protective glasses to prevent unintended changes to the lens implants from exposure to natural sunlight or other sources of UV light. This is necessary until the “lock-in” procedure is completed.
The Flexibility and Personalization of LAL
LAL brings a level of flexibility and personalization with impressive visual outcomes that was previously unimaginable in vision correction. Whether you’re looking to enhance your night vision or reduce astigmatism, the adjustability of LAL offers a unique opportunity to participate in your own vision correction process, working with your ophthalmologist to achieve the best possible outcome tailored to your specific needs.
The Brinton Vision LAL Experience
Our Commitment to Excellence
At Brinton Vision, our mission is simple: to change lives through the priceless gift of sight. Our expert team is dedicated to ensuring a smooth patient journey, providing comprehensive care and support every step of the way. Brinton Vision is committed to providing the highest quality eye care and helping our patients achieve visual freedom.
Our Advanced Diagnostic Testing and State-of-the-art Facility
We take great pride in our state-of-the-art facility and comprehensive diagnostic technologies, which enable us to deliver a high level of precision and efficiency in our procedures. These advanced tools allow us to accurately assess your vision and provide a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. Brinton Vision is conveniently located near St Louis making us a short drive to better vision. Our goal is for all of our patients to be treated like family and our comfortable, welcoming office will help you relax and feel at home as you are on your journey to clear vision.
Your Concerns and Our Solutions: LAL Surgery at Brinton Vision
Risk Management and Patient Safety
Patient safety is our top priority. While any surgical procedure carries potential risks, we take every precaution to minimize these risks. Our rigorous screening process ensures that we only recommend LAL surgery to candidates who are most likely to benefit from the procedure, reducing the risk of complications.
Affordability and Financing Options
We understand that cost can be a concern for many patients. While LAL surgery is an investment, we firmly believe that the lifelong benefits it offers far outweigh the cost. We offer a variety of financing options to help make this life-changing procedure more accessible to everyone.
While the initial cost of Light Adjustable Lens (LAL) surgery might be higher compared to other vision correction solutions, its benefits make it cost-effective over time. LALs are designed to last a lifetime, thereby eliminating the recurring costs associated with glasses or contact lenses. With its superior customization potential, LAL can offer better vision correction outcomes, reducing dependency on corrective eyewear post-surgery. Although the upfront cost is an investment, when factoring in the lifetime value, convenience, improved quality of life, and potential reduction in long-term expenses related to glasses or contact lenses, LAL surgery might represent a more financially sound option in the long run.
Get Personalized Results With LAL in St Louis
LAL offers an unparalleled level of customization, accuracy, and flexibility in vision correction. Brinton Vision is proud to bring this revolutionary technology to St. Louis, and we encourage you to take the next step towards better vision by scheduling a consultation with us and learn more about how we can customize your vision. As always, our commitment to quality care and patient satisfaction remains our guiding principle.
Are you ready to take the next step in your visual freedom?
More FAQs about Light Adjustable Lenses (LAL) in St. Louis
What are Light Adjustable Lenses (LAL)?
Light Adjustable Lenses are a revolutionary technology in vision correction that allows for the customization of your vision post-operatively. They’re made of a special photosensitive material so the prescription can be adjusted with UV light to correct vision more precisely even after the lens has been implanted.
Who is Dr. Jason Brinton, and what is his connection with LAL?
Dr. Jason Brinton is a fellowship trained, board-certified ophthalmologist and the founder of Brinton Vision. He is an expert in all seven forms of modern vision correction procedures, including the use of Light Adjustable Lenses. His passion and dedication towards improving patients’ quality of life through vision correction have made him a leading figure in this field.
How does the adjustment process for Light Adjustable Lenses work?
The adjustment process for LAL is non-invasive and is performed as an outpatient procedure. It involves the application of a precise amount of UV light on the lens in 2-5 sessions. This light exposure alters the shape of the lens, thus reducing the refractive error. The adjustments are made after your eyes have fully healed from the initial surgery.
What kind of conditions can LAL correct?
Light Adjustable Lenses can correct a wide range of refractive errors including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. They are a versatile solution and can be adjusted to match the unique needs of each patient’s vision.
Is the LAL surgery painful?
LAL surgery is generally painless. Anesthetic drops are used to numb your eyes during the procedure. LAL patients might experience some pressure during the procedure, however many patients don’t feel any discomfort at all.
Are Light Adjustable Lenses safe?
Yes, light adjustable intraocular lenses have been extensively tested and are considered safe. As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications, but these are rare. Your surgeon will discuss all potential risks and benefits with you prior to surgery.
How long does the LAL procedure take?
The lens implantation itself typically takes less than 15 minutes per eye. The adjustment process, which involves UV light application, requires 2-5 outpatient visits after the initial surgery. Each of these adjustments sessions typically lasts around 4-5 minutes.
How long is the recovery process after LAL surgery?
Most patients experience a rapid recovery following LAL surgery and can usually return to normal activities the next day. However, the healing process is unique to each individual, and your doctor will provide specific guidance based on your situation.
How much does LAL surgery cost?
The cost of LAL surgery varies based on a number of factors including your specific vision needs and geographical location. It is best to discuss the cost and any available financing options directly with your healthcare provider.
How can I determine if I’m a good candidate for LAL surgery?
The best way to determine your candidacy for LAL surgery is to schedule a comprehensive eye examination with a trained ophthalmologist. They will be able to evaluate your eyes and eyeglass prescription and discuss whether LAL or another type of vision correction procedure is right for you.
Can LAL surgery correct presbyopia?
Light Adjustable Lenses (LALs) are primarily used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), and are astigmatism correcting. While they can improve vision dramatically, presbyopia, which is an age-related condition causing difficulty focusing on near objects, might still require the use of reading glasses. However, this depends on your individual visual needs.
Can LAL be used in conjunction with other eye surgeries?
Yes, LAL can be used in conjunction with other eye surgeries such as cataract surgery. This is something you would discuss with your ophthalmologist to determine the best course of action for your unique vision needs.
What is the longevity of LAL? Will I need to replace them after a few years?
Once the lens implantation is complete and adjusted, Light Adjustable Lenses are designed to last a lifetime. They do not need to be replaced over time. However, like any medical procedure, individual results may vary, and it’s best to discuss this with your surgeon.
Will I be completely glasses-free after LAL surgery?
The goal of light adjustable intraocular lens surgery is to improve visual perception and reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses significantly. However, you may still need glasses for certain tasks such as reading or driving, especially at night. The extent of your reliance on glasses post-surgery would depend on your individual vision needs and the outcome of the procedure.
Are there any lifestyle changes I need to make after getting LAL?
After the LAL procedure, you will be required to wear special UV-protective glasses until the lens adjustment process is complete. This is to prevent unintentional changes to your lens from sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light. Once the adjustment process is complete, no additional lifestyle changes are usually required.
Is LAL surgery covered by insurance?
Like many elective vision correction procedures, LAL surgery is typically not covered by insurance. However, it is best to check with your specific insurance provider. Additionally, many ophthalmology practices offer financing options to help offset the cost.
Can I undergo LAL surgery if I have previously had LASIK or other vision correction surgeries?
It may be possible to have LAL surgery if you have previously undergone LASIK or other vision correction procedures. However, this depends on several factors including your current eye health, corneal thickness, and other individual circumstances. It’s important to discuss your full medical and surgical history with your refractive surgery specialist eye doctor.