LASIK steals the spotlight when it comes to vision correction procedures. But there are many great LASIK alternatives if you aren’t a good candidate for it.
Refractive lens exchange, or RLE, works entirely differently than LASIK. But it can be every bit as effective for the right patient.
Keep reading to learn more about RLE and find out if you are a good candidate for it!
How Does RLE Work?
LASIK alters the shape of your cornea to correct refractive errors. Surgeons use RLE to replace the lens behind the cornea inside your eye.
This replacement lens, called an intraocular lens or IOL, focuses the light that your cornea cannot. RLE is actually the same procedure as cataract surgery.
It is a refractive lens exchange when you get it but don’t have cataracts. To begin RLE, your surgeon creates a small opening in your cornea.
LASIK begins with a similar step. The difference is that the opening goes through your entire cornea during RLE instead of only the top layer, as in LASIK.
This incision gives your surgeon access to your natural lens. They break your lens into smaller pieces using ultrasound energy, and the bits get pulled out with light suction.
Then the IOL gets secured in place. There are a variety of different IOLs to choose from.
But you’ll likely pick from a selection of premium multifocal IOLs for RLE. Multifocal IOLs perform like bifocal lenses inside your eye.
It corrects your vision based on how the light interacts with the IOL itself. All premium IOLs can give you focused sight at multiple distances. And most create smooth transitions between these distances.
They also can provide clear vision at far, near, and intermediate ranges. Your eye doctor will work with you to select the IOL that best suits your lifestyle.
Once the IOL is in place, the procedure is over. The incision will heal on its own without stitches or adhesive.
Why Choose RLE Over Other Options?
RLE may seem more involved than other procedures and not worth it. But for some patients, it is the best option.
It is advantageous if you suffer from presbyopia. Presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, stiffens your natural lens.
It is part of the aging process and is why people need reading glasses in their forties. Presbyopia limits your lens’s ability to elongate to focus on near objects.
RLE also does not alter your cornea, as other vision correction procedures do. If you have thin corneas, which disqualifies you from getting LASIK, RLE may suit your eyes.
The results and recovery from RLE are comparable to LASIK. And although LASIK may be more well-known, RLE is the best option for many.
Who is a Good RLE Candidate?
RLE is ideal for patients older than forty who can’t get LASIK. Age plays a significant role in the LASIK qualification process, and once you reach a certain age, RLE is best.
Would you like to get rid of your glasses and contacts forever? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Hauppauge, NY, to see if RLE is right for you!