People with eye problems may soon be able to benefit from a new type of treatment that involves something resembling a contact lens being implanted into the eye to help the patients see with clarity.
The Light Adjustable Lens (LAL), as it is known, can be fine-tuned and customised once inserted in order to provide patients with perfect visual clarity and ensure they can focus on objects at varying distances, the Daily Mail reports.
Bobby Qureshi, from the London Eye Hospital in Harley Street, is the first surgeon in the UK to use the technology, and he explained how everybody has a lens inside the eye which helps focus light on to the retina.
However, as we get older it starts becoming yellow and develops cloudy patches in it, which is when cataracts are usually diagnosed, but the new product offers an alternative to this.
Embedded within the lens are unique materials called macromers, which are sensitive to a particular wavelength of UV light.
When experts shine the UV light in the eye, controlled by a very sophisticated computer, the macromers come together in a process called photopolymerisation, Dr Qureshi told the newspaper.
"This causes the lens to change shape. In a very accurate and precise manner we can remodel the lens within the eye enabling us to correct long or short sight or astigmatism, or even make the lens multifocal," he added.
The procedure is performed using a special laser controlled by a computer, which not only makes an incision in the eye but also helps to break up the damaged natural lens.
"The machine makes a three-dimensional picture of the eye at a micron level of accuracy, which the computer then uses to guide the laser. The laser carries out most of the operation in about 30 seconds and the patient doesn't feel a thing," he added.
So far, feedback has been good and eye experts are hoping that the procedure will be rolled out more widely in the months and years ahead.