Refractive lens exchange, also called RLE, is a safe and effective procedure that can free you from your reliance on visual aids. During this outpatient procedure, your eye’s natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens implant selected to give you better focus.
Many people who consider a refractive surgery like RLE wonder if the vision results will be permanent. Keep reading to learn how long the results of refractive lens exchange last!
What is RLE?
Refractive lens exchange is a procedure where the eye’s natural lens is surgically removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens implant. This procedure is usually performed to correct vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism instead of wearing glasses or contacts.
Since RLE replaces your eye’s natural lens, those who have RLE will no longer need cataract surgery later in life. There are many benefits to choosing RLE, including experiencing greater visual freedom.
How Do I Choose Between LASIK and RLE?
Deciding between LASIK and refractive lens exchange depends on various factors. The best way to determine which is best for you is to visit your eye doctor at Stahl Eyecare Experts for a consultation.
Your eye doctor will consider factors like your age and the severity of your vision issues. Although the goals of the two procedures are the same, the methods for each are very different.
During LASIK, your LASIK surgeon uses a laser to reshape your cornea and correct vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It works best for younger patients who have a low to moderate prescription strength.
LASIK typically requires a longer recovery than RLE and requires you to avoid strenuous activities for a longer period of time due to the delicate flap made during the procedure. There are numerous pros and cons to each procedure, it’s important to talk with your eye doctor to know which may be best for you.
How Does RLE Work?
The RLE procedure is very similar to cataract surgery. First, your ophthalmologist will make tiny incisions in the front of your eye and use an ultrasonic device to break up and remove your old lens.
The new artificial lens implant is precisely calculated and selected based on your eye measurements and target vision correction needs like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism correction. Unlike LASIK, which reshapes your cornea, RLE directly replaces the part of your eye responsible for focusing light, providing immediate vision improvement.
It takes around two to six weeks for your eye to completely heal. Results are meant to reduce dependency on glasses or contacts, sometimes for many years.
Will RLE Correct My Vision Long-Term?
Since RLE replaces your natural lens, you will not have to worry about vision changes caused by cataracts later in life. Additionally, the results of RLE are meant to last for a lifetime.
However, RLE does not prevent any vision changes you may experience due to other eye conditions. It is essential to continue to follow up with your eye doctor routinely after RLE surgery to ensure that your vision is in its best shape.
Will I Have to Wear Glasses After RLE?
Most patients are able to live their lives with much less dependence on visual aids, such as glasses, after the RLE procedure. However, the clarity and functionality of your vision mainly depend on which IOL you choose to replace your natural lens during the procedure.
Your eye doctor will help you determine which lens is best for your vision goals, lifestyle, budget, and hobbies. After RLE, you can look forward to seeing clearly and having greater visual freedom.
Do you want to learn if RLE may be right for you? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, today!