or intraocular lens (IOL) luxation

What is lens or IOL subluxation?

The term luxation in medicine refers to the displacement of a structure from its normal position, either fully or partially, in which case it is subluxation.

Inside the eye, the lens that enables us to focus on images to then project them onto the retina, is inside a capsule or membrane. This lens capsule complex is “attached” to the eyeball with some small fibres that make up a structure called the lens zonule.

When the fibres of the zonule or the capsule containing the lens are damaged, it will move from its original position, either fully or partially, depending on the extent of the damage.

What can cause this damage?

There are a host of different causes for subluxation of the lens or an intraocular lens. However, the most common causes are the weakening of the lens capsule and/or the lens zonule which holds it in its normal position.

Systemic diseases

There is underlying weakness of the capsule and zonular fibres in certain individuals with these diseases.

Eye disorders

These can weaken these structures, making lens luxation much more likely.

Injuries or surgeries

These can make the eye more susceptible to luxation of the lens and implanted IOL replacing the lens.


Patients with luxation or subluxation of the lens of intraocular lens may present:

  • Reduction in visual acuity.
  • Reduction in the ability to focus.
  • Double vision or diplopia.

In certain instances, when left untreated, it can lead to retinal damage such as haemorrhage or even retinal detachment.


The purpose of the treatment is to reposition the lens or intraocular lens replacing it back in its original position or another alternative, depending on each case.

As such, different techniques can be used depending on the disorder or underlying cause and the degree of lens luxation. A vitrectomy may sometimes be necessary.


At CLÍNICA RAHHAL, we have state-of-the-art technological equipment which, combined with our teamwork, ensures the best results.

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“I have been going to Rahhal for many years with my entire family because of the quality of the service and the family-friendly atmosphere that the whole team provides”.

Fernando Alcañiz.

“Besides his professionalism, you can see that Dr Rahhal enjoys his work and is happy doing it. I went to him for an initial consultation and have never thought about going to another clinic. I am truly delighted”.

Lourdes García. 

“I have been a patient for some time and I am delighted with them. The staff are attentive and very professional, and the facilities are excellent. Highly recommended!”

Esther Herranz. 



At CLÍNICA RAHHAL, we don’t want you to have to break the bank to be able to see; we want to ensure our patients can afford our treatments.

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Select one of the following frequently-asked questions from our patients to show the answer. If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us using the form below.

Does the lens or intraocular lens (IOL) tend to move over time?

In most cases, no. Both the lens and the intraocular lens inserted to replace the lens after the appearance of presbyopia or cataracts, are held in place by some fibres called the lens zonule, which remain fixed throughout life.

Why may the lens have moved?

Sometimes, there is a sudden displacement of the lens, causing a notable alteration to vision. It may be due to an intrinsic weakness of the lens zonule, i.e., a predisposing factor that makes the fibres that hold it in place weaker than normal (for example, Marfan syndrome, homocystinuria or pseudoexfoliation syndrome); or it may be secondary to trauma.

Is the solution always surgical?

To reposition an intraocular lens in the correct place, surgical intervention is needed.

Is this intervention urgent?

It depends on the patient’s vision capacity and whether full luxation or subluxation (partial luxation) has occurred.  However, each case is specific and it will need to be the ophthalmologist who determines the urgency of the surgery in each case.

Initial consultation

Leave your details here and we will get in touch to offer you an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists. We will send you an email confirming receipt along with the details of the appointment requested. We will then call you within a few working hours to confirm the appointment requested.