Seeing is Believing: Why Refractive Lens Exchange is Worth it - Rocky Mountain Eye Center
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Seeing is Believing: Why Refractive Lens Exchange is Worth it

Posted by: Rocky Mountain Eye Center in News on October 27, 2023

Do you wish you didn’t have to depend on visual aids? Do you wonder if there could be a better solution?

Although LASIK is the most well-known for vision correction procedures, it’s only suitable for some. You have to qualify as a good candidate for the procedure to undergo it. 

You may not be a good candidate for LASIK if you have extreme refractive errors or very thin corneas. But if you’re not a good candidate for LASIK, it doesn’t have to mean the end of your visual freedom dreams. 

Instead, your eye doctor may recommend a different procedure, like refractive lens exchange or RLE. Keep reading to learn more about refractive lens exchange and why it’s worth it!

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange, commonly known as RLE, is a vision-correcting procedure that involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL). Refractive lens exchange can correct refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It can also correct presbyopia.

Refractive lens exchange can be a good option for individuals who want to correct their vision but are not good candidates for procedures like LASIK or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). Your ophthalmologist may recommend if you’re extremely nearsighted or farsighted or have corneal abnormalities.

How is Refractive Lens Exchange Different from Other Vision Correction Procedures?

The way that vision is corrected is the most significant difference between RLE and LASIK or PRK. Both LASIK and PRK procedures correct vision by using lasers to reshape the cornea.

In refractive lens exchange, the natural crystalline lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an IOL. This replacement lens is permanently implanted and can restore vision for a lifetime.

RLE is very similar to cataract surgery, which also involves replacing the natural lens of the eye. The most significant difference between the two is that refractive lens exchange is usually performed as an elective procedure to correct vision and reduce (or even eliminate) the need for visual aids. 

But cataract surgery will correct vision by removing the natural lens and cataracts that have impaired vision. Cataract surgery is considered a medically necessary procedure.

Who is a Good Candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange?

The best candidates for refractive lens exchange are individuals at least 40 years of age who have had a stable prescription for a year or more. They should also have healthy eyes with no other eye conditions beyond refractive errors, early-stage cataracts, or presbyopia. 

Refractive lens exchange may not be suitable for you if you have an eye condition that affects your corneas, are at high risk for retinal detachment, or suffer from conditions like age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

Is Refractive Lens Exchange Worth It?

As with other vision-correcting procedures, there are many benefits in choosing to see clearly with refractive lens exchange. Here are just some of the reasons why RLE is worth it:

Reduced Dependence on Visual Aids

Refractive lens exchange can significantly reduce, or even eliminate, the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct vision problems, leading to greater convenience and improved quality of life for people who have relied on corrective aids for most of their lives. Finally achieving visual freedom will enhance your life and help you see everything that was never in focus before.

Improved Vision Quality

For a person with an extreme refractive error, refractive lens exchange can offer vision correction that is clearer and sharper than what glasses or contact lenses could achieve. It can also result in improved contrast perception and reduced glare sensitivity. Better vision will change your life for the better in ways you never thought possible!

Corrects Multiple Visual Issues

Depending on the IOL used to replace the natural lens, refractive lens exchange can correct vision at multiple distances simultaneously. Advanced IOL technology offers replacement lenses that can make it possible to see at near, intermediate, and far distances without the need for bi- or trifocals. When you no longer have to rely on visual aids, your whole world can open up.

Long-Lasting Clear Vision

Once in place, the IOL implanted during refractive lens exchange will not require future maintenance. It is permanent, and nobody will know it’s there except you. It also prevents cataracts, which cannot develop on the surface of an artificial lens.

Cost Effective

Because refractive lens exchange is a procedure that permanently corrects vision, it will reduce how much you spend annually on visual aids. Depending on the IOL you choose, you may no longer need to rely on visual aids, or you may be able to reduce your dependence on them significantly. 

The one-time cost of refractive lens exchange is often less than paying for a lifetime of vision correction and visual aids.

Predictable Outcomes

Refractive lens exchange has been used to correct refractive errors for many years and has a proven rate of predictability in achieving vision correction goals. Additionally, 95% of RLE patients report a high level of satisfaction following the procedure.

Highly Safe

When performed by an experienced and skilled eye surgeon, RLE is a simple and safe procedure. Recovery times for refractive lens exchange are relatively short, with few, if any, complications, and most people can resume their normal activities within days of the procedure.

Preventative Vision Correction

By opting to correct vision with refractive lens exchange before the onset of presbyopia or cataracts, individuals aged 40 and up can prevent the need for reading glasses or the impairment of their vision due to the effects of cataracts. RLE can prevent these age-related eye conditions from compromising your vision. 

If you have been told that LASIK is not suitable for you, other safe, effective vision-correcting procedures can help you reach your vision goals. With refractive lens exchange, you can have worry-free, clear vision that can last a lifetime!

Are you ready to change your life? Find out if refractive lens exchange could be right for you by requesting an appointment at Rocky Mountain Eye Center in Pueblo, CO, now!

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