Refractive Lens Exchange
Talk about getting the best of both worlds – and then some!
Also known as the “lifestyle lens,” a refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a method of surgically correcting your vision by replacing the lens of your eye with an artificial lens designed to correct your specific refractive error.
The RLE surgery is practically identical to a cataract surgery – although cataracts are not needed to undergo this procedure. In addition, an RLE is undertaken for reasons similar to LASIK surgery: to permanently correct common vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
RLE goes beyond both options, however, to offer additional benefits to patients. These include:
- It corrects presbyopia, eliminating your need for reading glasses.
- It corrects high refractory errors (severe nearsightedness or farsightedness), so is a great choice for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK.
- You won’t need future cataract surgery because the implanted lens is not subject to breakdown over time, so it won’t become cloudy later, unlike your natural eye lens.
An RLE procedure is very safe and effective – and has allowed many adults to enjoy improved eyesight without having to rely on glasses or contacts.
Am I a Good Candidate for RLE?
A refractive lens exchange may be ideal for patients who meet the following criteria:
- Seek improved vision, without glasses or contacts
- Age 40 or older
- Use reading glasses
- Do not yet have cataracts
- Have mild to severe nearsightedness or farsightedness
- Have lens-based astigmatism
If you’ve ever been told that you’re not a good candidate for LASIK, ask your ophthalmologist if a refractive lens exchange may be right for you.
Already Had LASIK? You May Still Qualify for RLE
While people may choose RLE for the same reasons they’d want LASIK (to improve their vision without having to rely on corrective lenses), the RLE procedure itself is more closely aligned with cataract surgery. Like a cataract surgery, a refractive lens exchange involves replacing the lens inside the eye, whereas LASIK involves reshaping the cornea at the surface of the eye. So, because your cornea remains intact with an RLE, even if you’ve had a LASIK procedure in the past, you may still qualify for a refractive lens exchange. Some patients opt to do this to eliminate their need for reading glasses and to avoid cataract surgery later in life.
RLE: a LASIK Alternative to Vision Correction in Miramar, FL
A refractive lens exchange is a great choice for patients who don’t qualify for a LASIK procedure due to severe nearsightedness or farsightedness.
For many people, an RLE is a win-win surgical option. For more information about this surgical method of vision correction, call board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Kenneth Karp at Miramar Eye Institute in South Florida at (954) 437-4316 – or simply request an appointment right now.