Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), also known as Custom Lens Replacement (CLR), is a precise and long-lasting solution for age-related vision changes caused by aging in the eye’s natural lens. Patients who have undergone RLE eye surgery describe it as “turning back the clock,” because they no longer need reading glasses. It restores their youthful vision and prevents the future development of cataracts.
Refractive Lens Exchange is gaining popularity among people who want to get rid of reading glasses and bifocals. It enhances their eyesight without the use of contact lenses or glasses. At Waite Vision, your vision is our passion. Modern vision correction is designed to help you view the world with amazing vision. Call our office to schedule your initial consultation and find out which of our life-changing vision correction procedures you would be an ideal candidate for.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the natural lens of the eye with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct refractive errors and improve vision. RLE is often performed on patients who have presbyopia, hyperopia, or high myopia, as these conditions cannot be permanently corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
During the RLE procedure, the eye surgeon makes a small opening in the cornea and removes the natural lens of the eye. The surgeon then inserts an IOL in its place. There are different types of IOLs available, including monofocal, multifocal, and accommodating lenses. Monofocal lenses provide clear vision at a single distance, while multifocal and accommodating lenses offer a range of vision from near to far.
RLE is a safe and effective procedure that can significantly improve a patient’s vision and quality of life. It is generally performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 10-15 minutes per eye. Patients may experience some mild discomfort and blurry vision immediately after the procedure, but these symptoms subside within a few days.
How is Refractive Lens Exchange Different from Custom Lens Replacement?
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) and custom lens replacement (CLR) are two terms used to describe the same procedure. Both procedures involve the removal of the natural lens of the eye and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) which is implanted in the same location as your natural lens. The goal of both procedures is to correct refractive errors and improve vision and quality of life for patients.
More FAQs about Refractive Lens Exchange RLE Utah vs CLR
How long does it take for an RLE procedure to be completed?
The duration of a refractive lens exchange (RLE) procedure typically ranges from 10-15 minutes per eye. The length of the procedure may vary depending on the specific needs of the patient and the type of IOL being used. Most RLE procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning patients can go home the same day.
Prior to the procedure, patients will receive local anesthesia (anesthetic eye drop) to numb the eye and may be given a sedative to help them relax. After the procedure, patients will need to rest for a short period of time before being released to go home. Patients may experience some mild discomfort and blurred vision immediately after the procedure, but these symptoms subside within a few days.
Is the Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) procedure painful?
A Refractive lens exchange procedure has minimal discomfort, as patients receive local anesthesia to numb the eye and may be given a sedative to help them relax during the procedure. Patients may experience some pressure during lens replacement surgery, but it should not be uncomfortable.
After the procedure, patients may experience some mild discomfort and blurry vision, which is typically managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription eye drops. It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth recovery.
Are you awake during RLE surgery?
Yes, patients are awake during refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery, which is performed under local anesthesia. This means only the eye being operated on is numbed with eye drop medication, and the patient is conscious throughout the procedure. Patients may be given a sedative to help them relax during the procedure, but they will remain awake and aware of their surroundings. This allows the surgeon to communicate with the patient during the procedure.
It’s natural to experience some nervousness about an eye procedure, but we’ll make sure you know exactly what to expect and ensure you are feeling comfortable during the procedure.
Will I still need glasses after Refractive Lens Exchange?
The goal of refractive lens exchange (RLE) is to reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses by correcting refractive errors such as presbyopia, hyperopia, or high myopia. While RLE can greatly reduce a patient’s need for corrective lenses, it is important to remember it is not a guarantee of perfect vision without glasses. Some patients may still require glasses for certain activities, such as reading small print, threading a needle, or driving at night.
Additionally, the type of intraocular lens (IOL) used may impact a patient’s visual perception. For example, monofocal lenses can improve distance vision but may require reading glasses for close-up tasks, while multifocal lenses can provide a range of vision but may not be suitable for all patients. Patients should discuss their visual expectations and lifestyle needs with their surgeon prior to the procedure to ensure the best IOL option for their individual needs. It is also important for patients to attend all post-operative appointments and follow their surgeon’s instructions for optimal healing and visual outcomes.
Is RLE the same as cataract surgery?
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) and cataract surgery are similar as they both involve the removal of the natural lens of the eye and its replacement with an artificial lens (IOL). However, there are some key differences between the two procedures. RLE is a type of refractive surgery that is typically performed to correct refractive errors such as presbyopia, hyperopia, or high myopia in patients who do not have cataracts.
Cataract surgery, on the other hand, is performed to remove a cloudy or hazy lens that is causing vision problems. During cataract surgery the natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens and is considered a medically necessary procedure. RLE, which corrects the vision, is considered an elective procedure and is not be covered by insurance. Additionally, the type of IOL used may differ between the two procedures. Monofocal lenses are most commonly used in cataract surgery to restore distance vision, while multifocal lenses may be used in RLE to provide a range of vision. Overall, while RLE and cataract surgery share some similarities, they are two distinct procedures performed for different reasons.
When can I resume exercise following Refractive Lens Exchange?
Following refractive lens exchange (RLE), it is important for patients to take it easy and allow time for their eyes to heal. Patients should avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for at least one week following the procedure. This includes any activities that could increase blood pressure or strain the eyes, such as weightlifting, running, or swimming.
After one week, patients may gradually begin to resume light exercise. Patients should also avoid rubbing or touching their eyes, as this can increase the risk of infection or damage to the cornea. It is important for patients to follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
Are the results from Refractive Lens Exchange permanent?
The results of refractive lens exchange (RLE) or custom lens replacement surgery are considered permanent, as the artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that is implanted during the procedure does not degrade over time and will last the rest of your life. However, it is important to note the eye can continue to change over time due to factors such as aging, disease, or injury, which can impact a patient’s visual acuity.
Additionally, while RLE can greatly reduce a patient’s dependence on glasses or contact lenses, it may not completely eliminate the need for corrective eyewear in all situations. Some patients may still require reading glasses for reading fine print or when driving at night.
Overall, while the results of RLE are generally considered permanent, it is important for patients to attend all post-operative appointments and monitor their vision over time to ensure optimal long-term outcomes.
Does Refractive Lens Exchange surgery cure presbyopia?
Refractive lens exchange (RLE) can be an effective way to cure presbyopia. Presbyopia is a natural age-related condition that causes difficulty in focusing on near objects due to the loss of elasticity in the natural lens of the eye. RLE can effectively address this condition by removing the natural lens and replacing it with a multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) that can provide clear vision at multiple distances.
With this procedure, patients can often reduce or eliminate their need for reading glasses or bifocals. Moreover, patients can enjoy long-lasting results as the IOLs are designed to be permanent. Patients should consult their surgeon regarding the best IOL option that suits their individual needs and expectations.
Can Refractive Lens Exchange treat Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome?
Yes, refractive lens exchange (RLE) is an effective treatment option for Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome (DLS). DLS is a condition that occurs when the natural lens of the eye loses its ability to function properly, resulting in a range of visual problems, including difficulty with near and distance vision, glare, and halos around lights. RLE can address this condition by removing the dysfunctional lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant that can provide clear vision at various distances.
Additionally, RLE can also help to address any underlying refractive error, such as near-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism, which may be contributing to the patient’s visual symptoms. As with any medical procedure, patients should discuss their individual condition and expectations with their surgeon to determine if RLE is the right treatment option for them.
Can you have RLE if you have been told you are not a candidate for LASIK?
Yes, patients who have been told they are not candidates for LASIK (laser in-situ keratomileusis) may still be eligible for refractive lens exchange (RLE). This is because RLE is a different type of procedure that involves replacing the natural lens of the eye with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL), rather than reshaping the cornea as in LASIK. Additionally, RLE can address a wider range of vision issues, including both refractive errors and age-related changes to the natural lens of the eye. Patients who are interested in RLE should schedule a consultation with an experienced ophthalmologist to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure based on their individual needs and expectations. At Waite Vision, our team is dedicated to helping each patient find the right treatment option for their unique situation, even if LASIK or other types of laser vision correction are not an option.
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) or Custom Lens Replacement (CLR) are highly effective procedures that can help patients achieve clearer, more comfortable vision. RLE or CLR may be suitable for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or other corneal abnormalities. Our Waite Vision team of experienced medical professionals and team members are committed to helping each patient find the best treatment option for their individual needs and goals. If you are experiencing changes in your vision or are interested in learning more about RLE or CLR, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team today. Together, we can help you achieve your best possible vision and quality of life.