LASIK may be the most well-known vision correction procedure, but it is by no means the only option. It is not suitable for everyone, and there are alternatives for people who are not LASIK candidates.
One common alternative to LASIK is refractive lens exchange or RLE. Although they achieve similar results, they are very different procedures.
Keep reading to learn more about RLE and why you should consider it.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
A refractive lens exchange, or RLE, exchanges your natural lens for an artificial one. This artificial lens is an intraocular lens or IOL.
IOLs come in a wide variety of options with varying capabilities. Your eye doctor will help you find the best one for you before your procedure.
RLE is the same procedure as cataract surgery, but you can get it even if you don’t have cataracts. Insurance and Medicare cover the cost of cataract surgery with the most basic IOL, the monofocal IOL.
RLE is an elective procedure that you have to pay out of pocket no matter what. So it makes sense to invest in a premium IOL, which allows you to see at multiple ranges, rather than just one.
Which IOL Should You Choose?
Finding the best IOL for your vision goals is the most critical part of your RLE preparation. Some IOLs can significantly reduce or end your need for glasses. These are the lenses you should consider for RLE.
Other options give you clear vision at most distances, but you may need glasses for closer tasks. Most premium IOLs provide you with quality distance vision. Many only give you basic up-close sight.
If you want true visual freedom like LASIK provides, there are two IOLs you should consider. The first is the PanOptix trifocal IOL. It’s the first and only FDA-approved trifocal IOL.
The PanOptix Trifocal IOL
The design of the PanOptix trifocal is similar to a traditional multifocal IOL. They have rings etched into the lens that are set to different focal points.
As light enters your eye, the IOL focuses that light at each focal point distance. The difference between the PanOptix trifocal and other multifocal IOLs is that it has three focal points.
Most multifocal IOLs have only two focal points set to far and up-close vision. They have a gap in between at intermediate distances.
The PanOptix does not have this gap, giving you uninterrupted vision. It also reduces halos and glare, typical side effects of other IOLs.
The Vivity EDOF IOL
The second premium IOL to consider for RLE is the Vivity IOL. The Vivity IOL is the first and only FDA-approved non-diffractive extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOL.
Vivity is different than the trifocal. Instead of having rings in the lens, it uses something called X-WAVE technology and extended focal points.
This technology stretches and shifts the light entering your eye instead of splitting light as a multifocal does. That means it gives you clear vision from far to near without any interruptions.
Both these IOLs can significantly reduce or end your need for glasses. You may need glasses to read fine text, but that should be it.
If you are unable to get LASIK, then RLE may be the procedure for you! Your eye doctor will help you select the best IOL possible.
Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, if you’re ready for visual freedom. We’ll help you find the procedure that is right for you.