PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Clear lens extraction is being advocated for primary angle closure disease (PACD). It is important that this advocacy should be based on a sound, peer-reviewed evidence base. This review attempts to establish the extent of that evidence and provide some management guidelines. RECENT FINDINGS: There are only three reports that incorporate clear lens extraction (CLE) for angle closure: numbers are sparse and none compare modern phacoemulsification to alternative treatments for primary angle closure glaucoma or provide enough detail to guide clinical decisions. A Cochrane review in 2006 found that there was no evidence to support lens extraction as treatment for primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG). More recent randomized controlled trials have provided support for cataract extraction - although not specifically for CLE - as treatment for part of the spectrum of PACD. A recent review has attempted to provide guidelines for application of CLE in PACG by extrapolating from this evidence. SUMMARY: There are currently no randomized controlled trials supporting the use of CLE as treatment for PACG. A benefit from the procedure is biologically plausible and extrapolation from existing randomized trials to a few specific situations may be possible. Any potential benefit must be carefully weighed against the risks of intervention.