Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome Specialist

Randal Pham, MD, MS, FACS

Plastic Surgeon & Ophthalmologist located in San Jose, CA

There’s a reason some people refer to your 40s as “over the hill” or say it’s “all downhill from here!” The natural aging process causes many changes in our bodies and our eyes are no exception. Visit Randal Pham, MD, MS, FACS, in San Jose, California, if you’re in your 40s and are suddenly unable to focus on objects up close as you may have dysfunctional lens syndrome. Call the practice or schedule an appointment online for an exam.

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome Q&A

What is dysfunctional lens syndrome?

Dysfunctional lens syndrome is a progressive condition in which the lens inside your eye is unable to focus on objects up close due to the aging process. It affects everyone at some point in their life. There are three stages to the syndrome, with the first stage commonly affecting individuals in their 40s. 

What are the symptoms of dysfunctional lens syndrome?

The aging process causes the lens inside your eye to lose its natural flexibility. The proteins in the lens begin to change, causing the lens to become more yellow than clear, and causing loss of vision. 

During the first stage of dysfunctional lens syndrome, the eye lens begins to stiffen and lose the ability to focus on objects up close. You may find yourself holding books or newspapers further away when reading, or that you need to start using reading glasses. The first stage of dysfunctional lens syndrome may occur sooner for people who have farsightedness than for those with nearsightedness.

During the second stage, which begins in your 50s, night vision starts to decline. You may experience trouble driving at night or performing any activity with glaring lights.

Sometime after the age of 65, stage three results in a full cataract and inadequate visual quality.

How is dysfunctional lens syndrome treated?

In previous years, patients had to wait until their dysfunctional lens syndrome advanced to cataracts before receiving treatment. Today, doctors will treat visual disturbances before cataracts develop. Treatment for dysfunctional lens syndrome depends on how much the symptoms affect your daily life. Some common treatment methods include:

  • Reading glasses used as needed
  • Bifocals if long-distance vision is affected
  • Bifocal contact lenses and monovision contact lenses
  • Refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery to replace your eye lens with a multifocal artificial lens
  • Cataract surgery

Dr. Pham discusses all possible treatment options with you to determine which method of treatment is right for your situation. To find out if you have dysfunctional lens syndrome and learn about your treatment options, schedule an appointment online or call Randal Pham, MD, MS, FACS, for an appointment today.