On November 22nd, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it will allow eye doctors to use the RxSight Inc. Light Adjustable Lens and Light Delivery Device for cataract patients. This new device will help optometrists make minor adjustments to artificial lenses in cataract patients' eyes.
RxSight's intraocular lens (IOL) is different from other artificial lenses used in cataract surgery because it can react to UV light. Because these lenses are sensitive to UV light, optometrists can use RxSight's Light Delivery Device to make adjustments with light therapy.
Eye doctors can use this light therapy to make adjustments as soon as 17 days after the patient's initial cataract surgery. Patients will have to wear special UV protecting glasses and return for multiple light sessions over one to two weeks. All of these sessions only last between 40 to 150 seconds.
The FDA said that clinical trials of both the RxSight Light Adjustable Lens and Light Delivery System were positive. One clinical trial showed that 600 patients with RxSight lenses experienced improved vision after light therapy. After six months of adjustments with the RxSight lenses, most patients were able to read one line lower on the standard vision chart. This study also found that patients with astigmatism had a 75 percent reduction in symptoms using RxSight lenses.
RxSight lenses are targeted towards cataract patients with astigmatism in their corneas. People who already have macular diseases shouldn't get RxSight lenses. Also, anyone considering getting RxSight lenses should tell their eye doctor all of the medications they are taking. Certain drugs could adversely affect UV sensitivity, which will cause problems with RxSight lenses. A few medications that won't go well with RxSight lenses include amiodarone, piroxicam, and hypercin.
Cataracts is one of the most common causes of blindness around the world. This eye disease is caused by the clouding up of the eyes' lenses and is most common in people over the age of 40. Although patients might experience symptoms like blurred vision, cataracts could be detected before visual symptoms present themselves.
Cataract surgery involves replacing a patient's cloudy lens with an IOL. Sometimes patients experience refractive error after their cataract surgery and need to be prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. The RxSight lenses are different from other lenses because they can be adjusted for refractive error while remaining in the eyes.
Although cataract surgery is a common practice, it's difficult for people in the third world to get the care they need. Today, about 20 million people have blindness as a result of cataracts and another 52 million have slight vision loss caused by the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies cataracts as a priority eye disease in developing nations like India.
RxSight Inc. is a private company dedicated to enhancing IOL performance for cataract patients. The company is now headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, which is one hour south of Los Angeles.