Do you have extreme near-sightedness or far-sightedness? Are you eligible for laser vision correction? Are you suffering from age-related far-sightedness and want to get rid of glasses or contacts? Refractive lens exchange might be the solution you need.
Refractive lens exchange is an outpatient elective surgery that is used to permanently correct refractive errors and improve vision. The surgery involves the replacement of the eye’s natural lens with an intraocular lens.
Let’s talk about the refractive lens exchange and how it works.
Refractive Lens Exchange: What Is It?
Refractive lens exchange, also known as lifestyle lens, is a surgical method of correcting your vision by replacing the lens of your eye with an artificial lens (intraocular lens), which is designed specifically to correct your unique refractive error. An intraocular lens contains a customized vision prescription, similar to glasses and contacts.
The artificial lens works like your eye’s natural lens, meaning it refracts light as it enters your eye and helps it land properly on the retina so that you can see clearly. Refractive lens exchange is a successful and great alternative to laser surgeries, such as LASIK, which alters the shape of your cornea to correct vision problems.
How Does A Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure Work?
Before A Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure
The refractive lens exchange procedure involves preoperative evaluation, in which the ophthalmologist checks the health of your eyes and discusses different intraocular lens options with you. They will also explain the pros and cons of each intraocular lens type and how each lens type will affect you.
For example, a type of IOL called multifocal IOL improves vision at multiple ranges, but you may experience glare and halos around lights. While this could be a minor inconvenience for some people, for others it can be highly disruptive.
On the other hand, mono-focal IOLs do not cause glare and halos around the lights, but they can only correct either near-sightedness or far-sightedness. This means if you opt for monofocalIOLs for farsightedness, you may have to use glasses for reading and other tasks that require close-up vision.
Your ophthalmologist may also perform a thorough eye exam to pinpoint any underlying condition that may interfere with the surgical procedure.
During A Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure
To perform a refractive lens exchange surgery, you will be given eye drops that will numb the surface of your eyes. Your ophthalmologist may also give you medicine to help you feel relaxed. You will be awake during surgery, but your vision will be blurry.
In the next step, the ophthalmologist will use a laser or a blade to make a small incision at the contact point of the sclera and cornea. Then, they will use a pen-shaped tool to break up and remove the natural lens of your eye. This process is known as phacoemulsification. In phacoemulsification, the lens is broken into several small pieces, which are then liquefied with ultrasound waves and removed with a vacuum suction system.
The next step is the insertion of the new intraocular lens (through the same incision)within your lens capsule, which is a thin membrane that holds the lens in your eye. The incision will close on its own without stitches. A refractive lens exchange procedure takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
After A Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure
Following the procedure, you will be monitored for approximately 30 minutes and then be allowed to go home. Your ophthalmologist will set up a follow-up appointment typically for the next day, in which your ophthalmologist will assess your condition and tell you when it is safe for you to drive again.
Having blurred vision right after the surgery is normal and may clear it up within a few days. You may also experience other temporary side effects of the procedure, such as double vision, watery eyes, gritty feelings in your eyes, and red or bloodshot eyes.
Refractive Lens Exchange in Miramar, FL
If you think you need surgical vision correction, visit us here at Miramar Eye Institute in South Florida. Our board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Kenneth Karp, will perform a complete and thorough evaluation of your eye health and your vision problem. Based on your unique eye problem and personal preferences, our ophthalmologist will recommend a vision correction procedure like LASIK surgery, refractive exchange surgery, or something else.
If you have any questions about the refractive lens exchange procedure or want to set up a one-on-one consultation with our board-certified ophthalmologist, call (954) 437-4316 or use our convenient appointment request form.