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Why You Should Consider RLE If You Haven’t Already

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Do you have vision problems? Are you over 40 and want to correct your sight? 

If you are and you do, there are alternatives to cataract surgery. Refractive lens exchange (RLE)  surgery is another option. RLE is great for someone with cataracts who is over 40 and considering LASIK or PRK.

Keep reading to learn more about RLE and why you should consider it if you haven’t already!

What is Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?

Refractive lens exchange surgery is a lens replacement procedure. A surgeon replaces the natural lens in your eye with an artificial one. 

These artificial lenses are called intraocular lenses (IOL). They are most commonly used during cataract surgery. 

IOLs fix refractive errors so you can see clearly and reduce your use of bifocals or reading glasses. 

Who Gets Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery? 

There are many reasons to get RLE instead of another type of vision corrective surgery. Many patients get RLE surgery because they have a condition like presbyopia or farsightedness and are over the age of 40. 

Patients who meet any of these conditions may not be good candidates for LASIK or PRK. RLE is especially effective for patients with presbyopia and farsightedness. 

Sometimes doctors recommend RLE for patients with nearsightedness, but this is less common. If you want to treat nearsightedness, LASIK, phakic IOLs and PRK are often better options to consider.

But, if you want to prevent cataracts from developing, then RLE is a good option.  

What Is The Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery Process?

The surgical process for RLE is almost identical to cataract surgery. The only difference is that in RLE, the artificial lens is replacing a clear lens. 

Cataract surgery removes a cloudy lens that has cataracts. Refractive lens exchange lasts for around 15 minutes. 

Depending on the patient, it can take some time before the healing process is complete. You may experience visual symptoms but these will go away over time. 

If you experience complications, let your eye doctor know sooner than later.

Are There Different Intraocular Lens Options (IOLs) For RLE Versus Cataract Surgery?

No. The IOLs used during cataract surgery are the same as the ones used during RLE. There are three main options for IOLs, which are the artificial lenses that replace your natural ones. 

The three main options for IOLs are monofocal fixed-focus IOLs, accommodating IOLs, and multifocal IOLs. Each of them is better for different purposes. 

You need to talk with your eye doctor to see if RLE is a good option for you and which IOL is best for your lifestyle. If you want to skip developing cataracts, RLE is a great option.

Are you interested in improving your vision and avoiding cataracts? Schedule an appointment with one of our Ginsberg Eye Ophthalmologists at our Naples, Florida location to see if RLE is right for you!

Why wait until you can’t see to get new lenses? Skip cataracts and vision loss, and instead see clearly for your entire life!