By Adam Gretton
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Pioneering technology, similar to that used on high definition televisions, is helping to transform the lives of people with visual impairments, according to experts from a leading eye hospital.
Potential laser eye surgery patients will be able to find out more about the latest advance in lens implants, which can be altered after surgery, at a seminar near Norwich at the weekend.
Officials from the London Eye Hospital will be holding the event at Dunston Hall on Saturday for people to learn about Light Adjustable Lens technology, which experts pledge will lead to a life without glasses or contact lenses for patients.
After an advanced lens is fitted by a surgeon, the shape of the lens can be changed and adjusted at a molecular level by shining a light, made from more than a million mirrors, and using a computer.
The specialist eye hospital has carried out 1,000 operations using Light Adjustable Lenses after its first use in 2009 and officials say the technology will make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cataracts and failing sight by giving them HD vision.
Consultant eye surgeon Bobby Qureshi, of the London Eye Hospital, who will be speaking at the seminar on Saturday, said the lens was ideal for people with cataract conditions and people in their late 30s, 40s and older. He added that the Light Adjustable Lens could deliver life-long perfect vision.
“We carried out the first surgery in the UK and we have known about it for some time. We were a bit sceptical to begin with, but it is amazing what it can do.”
“With the traditional implants, there is some degree of long sightedness, short sightedness or astigmatism and 80pc of people after surgery still need glasses. I remember giving a lecture in 2006 saying this lens was coming in and it seems like science fiction and people thought it was 20 years ahead,” he said.
A standard implant lens costs £100, but this advanced technology is £1,000 a lens, said Mr Qureshi, which pushes up the cost of a cataract operation from around £3,000 with a traditional lens, to more than £4,500 with the new lens.
“It is a complicated lens and we need to be far more meticulous with the operation to fit it and make sure it is not exposed to the light. Patients have to come back for several appointments to have adjustments carried out. You have the flexibility of trying out the vision and having it fine-tuned,” he said.
The ‘A Life Without Glasses’ seminar will be held from 11am to 1pm on Saturday at Dunston Hall. For more information, visit www.londoneyehospital.com