Refractive lens exchange is a surgical procedure that aims at improving your eyesight. It involves the replacement of the natural lens with an intraocular lens (IOL). It benefits patients suffering from nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. It is ideal for those who are suffering from presbyopia and are 45 years or older. It is also effective for patients who may not be candidates for laser treatments.
The procedure corrects the refractive error and helps achieve sharper focus. It reduces the need for bifocals and reading glasses. It is like getting surgery to treat cataracts. But instead of replacing a cloudy natural lens, refractive lens exchange replaces your clear natural lens.
There are many benefits of refractive lens exchange or RLE. They include:
During the RLE procedure, there is the removal of any cataracts that may be present. In addition, with the RLE procedure, there is no likelihood of developing cataracts in the future. Thus, it eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future. It is because the intraocular lens does not become cloudy with time as our natural lenses do. However, this may not be the case with laser surgery.
Laser surgery may be the more popular option for dealing with nearsightedness and farsightedness. However, RLE provides an alternative for patients with a severe refractive error or an abnormal cornea. The cornea may be abnormal if the patient has a thin cornea or other abnormalities that do not allow for laser surgery. RLE makes it possible for them to see with clarity again.
For patients with presbyopia, the eye’s natural lens loses the ability to focus and becomes inflexible. Laser surgery cannot help, but RLE surgery can address the issue effectively.
RLE surgery also shows better results with visual acuity than laser surgery. This is especially so in cases of patients suffering from farsightedness. RLE surgery shows it can also correct almost any degree of farsightedness that laser surgery is unable to.
The RLE procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes on an outpatient basis. The doctor performs the procedure on each eye separately, and the surgeries are a week apart. Initial recovery takes about a week, and you can get back to your normal activities. You can go back to work and even resume driving within this time.
Sometimes, the use of eyeglasses and contact lenses becomes cumbersome. An example is when you are driving at night in badly lit streets. Eyeglasses may not effectively filter the light from oncoming traffic.
They may also inconvenience you when you are in a restaurant and you need to read the menu. With RLE surgery, you do not have to carry glasses around anymore. You have a full range of vision, from distant objects to near ones.
Dependence on reading glasses may also make you feel old. It is a condition mainly found in people who are 45 years and older. So every time you wear your glasses, you may remember that and feel old. But with RLE surgery, you will feel younger and have a fresh lease on life.
For more information on refractive lens exchange, contact Shepard Eye Center at our offices in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Ynez Valley, and Orcutt, California. You can also call (805) 667-0100, (805) 793-1800, (805) 410-9998 or (805) 937-9532 to book an appointment today.