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Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome is Like Looking through a Dirty Window

September 24, 2015

Imagine that you live on a hill overlooking a valley. From your living room, you can look out the window and as far as you can see, there’s nothing but greenery, beautiful trees, and a small stream. It’s gorgeous, and your view is totally unobstructed by anything. One day, you settle into your plush armchair with your cup of tea, ready to look out and relax.

You can’t see anything out of the window. How can this be?, you think. You move closer and realize that your window is caked in thick, brown mud. After thinking about it a while, you realize that the window has been getting a little bit dirtier every day, but you hadn’t noticed until you couldn’t see at all. Set on looking out at your beautiful valley again, you gather the cleaning supplies and start scrubbing the inside pane of your window until it’s perfectly clean. Satisfied, you go back to your chair… and realize you still can’t see out.

It was the outside window all this time. Despite cleaning the inside glass, the outside was the problem all along, and your view is still obstructed until you clean the actual problem.

Your eyesight is a lot like looking through this dirty window. As you get older, your vision becomes less functional due to a loss of function of the lens. When you’re born, it’s clear and flexible. It can change its shape to best accommodate light and focus well. From the day you’re born, the lens starts to harden and focusing becomes harder and harder.

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome is a term coined by Dr. Harvey Carter to describe the decreased functional vision related to age-related abnormalities. There are a few phases:

  • Slight changes in the eye cause light scatter, loss of contrast, and glare
  • Lens stiffens and can’t accommodate or focus
  • Spherical aberrations reduce quality of vision

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome affects everyone, sooner or later. It’s inevitable until you have your lens replaced. It can also be called a “pre-cataract” by some, but many ophthalmologists dislike this term because it makes patients think it’s not a big deal, when really, it can rob otherwise healthy people of their vision. Even with the best glasses or contact lenses, DLS will make your vision less than adequate because the problem is with the equipment—the outside window pane.

Some say that DLR should be corrected earlier instead of correcting vision with LASIK—this is why some think that their LASIK “wore off.” It really hasn’t; their aging lens has simply become less functional.

There are a few dysfunctional lens syndrome treatment options available, including an Intraocular Lens Exchange procedure (IOL), a premium IOL, or Refractive Lens Exchange, which is the best treatment for many people with DLS. Dr. Silverman and the OCLI team use a cutting-edge Femtosecond laser to perform this procedure without blades. Once the faulty lens is removed and replaced, vision will be markedly improved and the need for glasses for near and far is dramatically reduced.

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome is inevitable for anyone who lives a long life, but luckily, Dr. Silverman is an expert at correcting your vision so you never have to look through a dirty windowpane again. Contact OCLI today for a free consultation to see if you qualify for Refractive Lens Exchange or LASIK.

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