LASIK and Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) are two popular procedures that correct vision problems and help people achieve clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. However, the difference between these two procedures lies in the way they achieve this goal.
How Does LASIK Work?
LASIK is a procedure that involves reshaping the cornea using laser technology to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. This procedure uses a laser to create a thin flap in the cornea and then reshapes the underlying cornea to improve the way light enters the eye. This correction is long-lasting, and most people experience significant improvement in their vision immediately following the procedure.
What Is RLE?
Refractive Lens Exchange, on the other hand, is a procedure that replaces the natural lens of the eye with an artificial lens. This procedure is typically performed on patients over the age of 50 who are experiencing presbyopia, a condition where the lens of the eye becomes less flexible, making it difficult to focus on objects up close. RLE can also be performed on patients with other refractive errors such as myopia and hyperopia.
One of the key differences between these two procedures is that LASIK only addresses the front of the eye (cornea), while RLE addresses the lens inside the eye. This means that the correction achieved through RLE is much more stable and long-lasting, as the artificial lens used in RLE is designed to last a lifetime.
Another difference between LASIK and RLE is the type of patients that each procedure is recommended for. LASIK is recommended for patients who have mild to moderate refractive errors, and for those who have not yet reached their 40s, as the natural lens of the eye is still able to adjust to changes in focus. RLE, on the other hand, is recommended for patients over the age of 50 who are experiencing presbyopia, as well as for those with more severe refractive errors who are not candidates for LASIK.
Other Factors You Should Consider
It’s important to note that both LASIK and RLE have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and the best choice for each individual will depend on their specific needs and goals.
Some of the benefits of LASIK include a quick recovery time, with most patients being able to return to work and normal activities within 24 to 48 hours. The procedure is also non-invasive, as we work only on the surface of the eye.
The benefits of RLE include lifelong vision correction and it can correct a wider range of refractive errors than LASIK such as severe farsightedness. The procedure also has a relatively quick recovery time, and most patients are able to return to work and most normal activities sometimes within a few days.
In conclusion, both Lasik and Refractive Lens Exchange are highly effective procedures for correcting vision problems and helping people achieve clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. However, the choice between these two procedures will depend on a number of factors, including your age, refractive error, and specific goals.
Before deciding which procedure is right for you, book a free consultation with one of BCLasik’s vision counselors to assess your specific vision needs. A virtual or in-person consultation can be booked HERE!