Are you searching for a vision correction procedure but don’t think you qualify for LASIK? You may want to consider something called refractive lens exchange or RLE. Stahl Eyecare Experts in Long Island and Manhattan have the experience to perform this.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive lens exchange is a vision correction procedure that treats presbyopia. Presbyopia is the beginning stage of dysfunctional lens syndrome (DLS), which is the degradation of your eyes as you age.
When you have presbyopia, you’ll begin having trouble seeing objects up close. This condition begins around age forty and is why you may start needing reading glasses.
Presbyopia happens because the lens in your eye stiffens as you get older. When a lens stiffens, it loses its ability to elongate. An elongated lens is what allows you to see up close.
RLE replaces your stiffening lens with an artificial implant called an intraocular lens (IOL). IOLs help you see clearly at varying distances without aids, including up close.
RLE is very similar to cataract surgery, with one difference: a cataract surgery patient has cataracts.
In RLE, the patient has elected to replace their lenses before cataracts form. Cataracts are the final stage of DLS.
By having Refractive Lens Exchange, you stop dysfunctional lens syndrome. RLE eliminates your risk for cataracts since they can’t form on artificial lenses.
Who is a Good Candidate for RLE?
RLE is an excellent option for someone who is too old for vision correction with LASIK but doesn’t have cataracts yet. It can help you end your need for reading glasses and avoid cataract surgery.
When Should I Get RLE?
RLE is only necessary after presbyopia makes your natural lens less flexible. Until then, you will have clear eyesight or regular prescription glasses or contacts.
Once presbyopia sets in, the need for RLE will become apparent to you. Presbyopia is affecting you if you suddenly need reading glasses.
That means your lenses are no longer able to focus on objects near your eyes. If you have to hold something at arm’s length to see it clearly, presbyopia has set in.
Why Should I Get RLE?
RLE is perfect if you do not want to have to use reading glasses and you want to avoid cataracts. Presbyopia and cataracts are both inevitable conditions, but RLE solves both issues.
How Does RLE Work?
Your surgeon will begin by giving you numbing eye drops. You won’t feel a thing.
After the eye drops take effect, your surgeon will make a small incision in your cornea to access the lens behind it. Then they will use an ultrasound device to break your natural lens into small pieces.
When your lens is in tiny pieces, they will use gentle suction to remove the lens pieces. Once the old lens is out, they replace it with your new IOL.
IOLs provide you with clear vision for the rest of your life, no more presbyopia, and no chance of cataracts.
What Are the Different Types of IOLs?
There are many types of IOLs you can choose from. They fall into two general categories, monofocal lenses, and premium lenses.
Monofocal IOLs are the standard lens and the most basic IOL available. The drawback to monofocal IOLs is that they only correct your vision at one distance.
Most people have their distance vision corrected. But that means you will still need reading glasses for up-close vision.
If you don’t want to use reading glasses for the rest of your life, you’ll want to consider a premium IOL. There are many types of premium IOLs. The most common are multifocal IOLs.
Premium IOLs can correct vision at near, long, and intermediate distances. Your eye doctor will help you find the best IOL for your lifestyle and post-procedure goals.
Can RLE Correct my Astigmatism?
RLE can correct astigmatism, depending on the IOL you select.
Lenses that correct astigmatism are toric IOLs and many premium IOLs have a toric model. RLE corrects astigmatism if the IOL you choose has a toric model.
Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Long Island or Manhattan, NY, to see if RLE is right for you!