Why Refractive Lens Exchange
As we age into our 40’s, our vision changes as our natural lens in the eye loses it ability to accommodate, making reading vision difficult or impossible. Often times when people consider corrective surgery, they think that LASIK or PRK are the only options, when in fact Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) maybe a better option for people with presbyopia (inability to focus on near objects) and high hyperopia (farsightedness), and high myopia (near-sightedness).
RLE, also called lens replacement surgery, replaces your eye’s natural lens with an artificial lens to correct your ‘refractive error’ allowing you to achieve a sharper focus and lessen your dependance on reading glasses or bifocals. RLE replaces your eye’s natural crystalline lens, with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that allows the patient to see near, intermediate, and/or far from both eyes. The surgery is not unlike cataract surgery, but in this case the lens that is being replaced is clear, not cloudy due to a cataract.
What are the options of lenses, and the benefits and disadvantages of each?
MONOFOCAL: this lens is for people who have astigmatism of which the monofocal alone cannot compensate for. This lens would provide them with good distance vision, but would need
glasses for reading and intermediate distance. If these people choose to have a monofocal lens instead, they would need glasses to correct for residual astigmatism.
TORIC: this lens is for people who have an amount of astigmatism for which the monofocal cannot compensate for. This lens would provide them with good distance vision, but would need glasses for reading and intermediate distance. If these people choose to have a monofocal lens instead, they would need glasses all the time.
MULTIFOCAL (MPlus): this lens provides good distance, intermediate and reading vision. It provides people with about 90% reduced need from glasses, and only very fine print (font on a pill bottle) or dim lighting would possibly require a pair of glasses.
Each year, over 15 million cataract and lens exchange procedures are performed worldwide, and is recognized for its safety and predictability. The procedure usually takes about 15 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis, with each eye being done separately, about 1-2 weeks apart. Typically there isn't any discomfort due to numbing anesthetic drops, and most people enjoy vision improvement right after surgery, getting back to regular activities in about a week.
At Fraser Valley Cataract and Laser in Surrey, BC, a thorough consultation process to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure will help ensure that patients will get the outcomes that meet their expectations. Restoring clear vision can be a life-changing experience. Treating a vision disorder like nearsightedness, farsightedness or cataracts usually makes it easier to perform simple everyday tasks, such as reading and driving. Better vision can improve mental health, confidence and a sense of independence. Let Fraser Valley Cataract & Laser help you enjoy clear, crisp vision and healthy eyes.