During refractive lens exchange, your natural lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens to correct your vision. This is done to reduce your need for progressives, bifocals or reading glasses.
If you haven’t heard of this procedure, don’t worry! We’ll explain the top five things you should know about Refractive lens exchange, also called RLE.
RLE, A Surgery For People Over 50 Experiencing Issues With Near Sight
As we age, so do the natural lenses in our eyes. Over time, they harden and discolor. The hardening of your natural lens (presbyopia) inhibits your ability to focus on nearby objects, and the discoloration (cataracts) makes all vision less clear. These conditions usually become noticeable in your 40’s and get worse into your 60’s.
RLE is often suitable for patients with presbyopia, severe hyperopia (a related condition in which your eyes do not focus sharply on nearby objects), and cataracts.
RLE Is Nearly Identical To Cataract Surgery
The process for lens exchange is nearly the same as the process for cataract surgery. The difference is that your natural lens is still clear, while the cataract surgery removes a cloudy lens.
Like with cataract surgery, your physician at FVCL/BCLASIK can recommend different types of intraocular lenses (IOL), depending on your lifestyle and desired outcomes.
Some lenses provide clear vision for distance only. This means you will still need glasses for near and intermediate ranges. Other lenses provide extended depths of focus; clear vision at multiple distances similar to natural, vision.
The artificial lens is meant to be a permanent replacement for your natural lens, and should last the rest of your life without deteriorating.
RLE Provides Lasting, LASIK-Like Results
LASIK eye surgery continues to be an excellent solution for people with refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, however, it doesn’t address visual issues stemming from the lens inside the eye, like presbyopia.
For visual conditions that involve the lens inside your eye, Refractive Lens Exchange is the recommended option for an exceptional visual outcome: clear vision with a reduced need for glasses, contact lenses, reading glasses, progressives or bifocals.
RLE also eliminates the need for future cataract surgery by replacing the lens that would otherwise continue to deteriorate over time.
RLE Is An Outpatient Surgery
Like LASIK, you can expect to go home immediately after RLE – with someone to drive you, of course.
The procedure takes about 15 minutes, but each eye is operated on separately, with some time in between for recovery.
Before the surgery, your doctor will apply anesthetic drops to your eye to prevent pain during the procedure. Afterward, you can expect to spend about 2 weeks recovering before you continue participating in your normal daily activities.
Although the recovery time is short as far as surgeries go, it can take several weeks to see the final results of your vision correction surgery.
RLE Is An Extremely Safe Procedure
Refractive Lens Exchange is one of the safest and most common medical procedures. Like all surgical procedures, there are some complications to be aware of. However, by choosing a reputable surgeon like Dr. Chu or Dr. King and following aftercare procedures, you can reduce your risk for them.
Find Out If Refractive Lens Exchange Is Right For You
BCLASIK in Surrey, BC is one of Canada’s providers of vision correction surgery. Pre-screen yourself to determine whether you may be a candidate for this type of surgery by completing our online test.
Then, if you’re ready for a consultation with one of our Ophthalmic Technicians here at BCLASIK, call our office at 604-372-3937 or book online.
Our BCLASIK team is excited to meet you and help you to see with clear, natural vision.