Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome

The term “Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome” (DLS) has been around for 15 years or so. We, at Ginsberg Eye, have adopted the topic as a way to improve both patient education and satisfaction.

DLS is a continuum of progression. The term describes the natural changes in the natural, crystalline lens after approximately age 42. It’s a continuum that begins the day a person is born. When patients understand the lens aging process, they better understand their options.

Dr. Ginsberg finds this especially true of patients who had keratorefractive surgery. They come to him complaining that “my LASIK has worn off,” unaware that their lens is changing. The cornea is not the culprit. This same scenario is common among patients who have had perfect vision their whole lives and now they begin to ease into distance glasses or reading glasses or both. It is the lens that is changing in these people as well.

DLS, as a condition, has become more popular since it was stratified into stages, which aids in patient education.

The Stages are as Follows:

DLS Stage 1:

  • 42-50-year-olds
  • Lens starts to stiffen and loses focusing power
  • Loss of near vision and need for reading glasses
  • Development of higher-order aberrations

Treatment options: Potential candidates for Clear Lens Exchange Surgery or LASIK & PRK with monovision variation

DLS Stage 2:

  • 50 years and older
  • Loss of accommodation
  • Light scatter formation degrading vision
  • Decreased contrast and night vision

Treatment options: Potential candidates for Clear Lens Exchange Surgery or LASIK & PRK with monovision variation

DLS Stage 3:

  • 65 years and older
  • Full cataract
  • Poor visual quality
  • Nucleus of the lens yellows affects color perception
  • Opacity with degraded vision

Treatment options: Cataract surgery to improve overall vision and higher technology intraocular lens implant to achieve spectacle independence at all distances


If you are concerned that your vision is being affected by Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome, it is time to get evaluated and hear more about your options for better vision.