Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is an innovative approach to vision enhancement, diverging from the conventional path of corneal surgeries like LASIK or PRK. Unlike these corneal procedures, RLE is a lens replacement surgery that bears resemblance to cataract surgery. The essence of RLE lies in the replacement of the eye’s natural crystalline lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). However, what sets RLE apart is its unique ability to address not only distance vision but also near vision.
Why should you give Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) a consideration?
As we age, particularly beyond the age of 50, the natural aging process begins to exert its influence on the eye’s crystalline lens. This change manifests as a thickening and hardening of the lens, a completely natural occurrence. The lens of a child is highly flexible and can swiftly adjust its focus from very close objects to distant ones. In contrast, the lens of a 70-year-old can resemble the hardness of a watermelon pit and loses its ability to adapt its focusing power. This age-related transformation often first presents itself as difficulties in near vision.
Additionally, the lens’s hardening over time leads to discoloration, acting as a filter for incoming light. Consequently, this alteration affects the quality of one’s vision, dimming colors and introducing issues such as glare and night vision problems. Therefore, individuals in this age group may not reap the same benefits from LASIK or PRK as younger counterparts.
RLE can offer a superior alternative to LASIK or PRK for patients over 45.
This superiority stems from the fact that laser vision correction (LVC), encompassing LASIK and PRK, primarily addresses distance vision. While this is perfectly suited for individuals in their 20s who can read without glasses, the scenario changes once a person crosses the threshold of 40. At this stage, patients undergoing LASIK or PRK are often cautioned that they will require reading glasses post-surgery.
Conversely, with RLE, patients can experience reduced reliance on glasses not only for distance vision but also for reading and computer tasks, contingent on the type of intraocular lens (IOL) implanted. This is particularly advantageous for farsighted individuals who typically need glasses for various vision ranges. The key lies in targeting the root of the issue: the crystalline lens. An added benefit of RLE is that patients who undergo lens replacement surgery will never need cataract surgery in the future since their natural crystalline lenses have already been replaced with artificial ones. Essentially, the procedure halts the aging process of the eye.
While LASIK and PRK serve as excellent options for younger patients aged 20 to 45, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) emerges as the superior choice for individuals over the age of 45.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is an outpatient procedure that is usually completed in under 20 minutes. To learn more about Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and our advanced surgical suite call today to schedule an appointment and discover if RLE is right for you.