Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
Looking to eliminate your reliance on glasses or contacts? Book a consultation and find out if refractive lens exchange could be the solution for you.
Replacing Your Lens
With refractive lens exchange, also called lens replacement eye surgery, or Dysfunctional Lens Exchange, your natural lens is removed and replaced by a clear lens with a different lens power to correct your vision. The procedure is often used for people who want to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses and contacts who typically have a very early cataract or no cataract at all.
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common type of refractive error where near objects appear clearly, but far objects appear blurry. This happens when the eyeball is too long or the cornea has too much curvature, causing light to focus in front of the retina instead of directly on it.
The medical term for farsightedness is hyperopia. Farsightedness is a common refractive error in the eye that affects the ability to see close-up objects. In farsighted individuals, light entering the eye focuses behind the retina instead of directly on it. This can result from an eyeball that is too short or a cornea that has too little curvature.
Astigmatism causes your vision to be blurred at both near and far distances. It occurs when your cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball.
Key features of astigmatism include:
- Blurred or Distorted Vision: Individuals with astigmatism often experience blurred or distorted vision at both near and far distances.
- Eye Strain and Discomfort: Astigmatism can lead to eye strain, headaches, and discomfort, especially after prolonged periods of reading or computer use.
- Difficulty with Night Vision: Some people with astigmatism may notice challenges with night vision, including glare and halos around lights.
- Combination with Other Refractive Errors: Astigmatism can occur on its own or in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Presbyopia is a common age-related vision condition that affects a person’s ability to focus on near objects or read small print. It is often referred to as “aging eyes” or “age-related farsightedness.” Presbyopia typically becomes noticeable in the late 30s or early 40s and continues to progress with age.
People with early presbyopia often notice they need more light to read, and have to hold reading material at arm’s length to focus. Eventually, presbyopia results in the need for reading glasses or bifocals/progressive lenses for all near vision.
Common Questions About Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)
What conditions does refractive lens exchange treat?
If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, even extreme prescriptions, and are over 40 years of age experiencing some degree of presbyopia, RLE could be your best course of treatment.
When should I consider refractive lens exchange?
You should consider RLE:
- If you are dependent on reading glasses or bifocals for your near tasks
- If you have a high level of farsightedness
- If you have been diagnosed with early lens changes and feel that the quality of your vision has declined, but, do not as yet have a significant cataract
How soon will I be able to resume normal activities?
Although you will need a ride home from the procedure, you will be able to resume most normal activities within a few days—with most patients able to resume driving as well.
What does the lens feel like when it’s implanted?
Patients are unable to feel the IOL Intraocular lens implants have been performed for more than 50 years.