Schwartz: The light adjustable lens is similar to a conventional implant that are placed in the eye – the surgery's the same, the recovery's the same, but the difference is that instead of getting a prescription for glasses, we can shine a special light onto this lens and change its power after the lens is in place and after the eye is healed.
Narrator: Dr. Daniel Schwartz of the University of California , San Francisco , teamed up with researchers from the California Institute of Technology to invent this new way to fine-tune a patient's vision.
Schwartz: With conventional cataract surgery, the patient has a cloudy lens, or cataract, and the cataract is removed by the surgeon and then replaced with a clear lens. Those lenses are nonadjustable, which means that the lens you have put in your eyes is a lens you're going to keep for the rest of your life.
Narrator: Schwartz hopes this procedure will be available in the U.S. by late 2009. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.