Correct Both Nearsightedness and Farsightedness with RLE

There are many treatments available for vision distortions like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is one of the treatments we offer at I Love LASIK. Learn more about this innovative vision care therapy and find out if it might be right for your eyes.

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What Is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)?

What Is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE)?

Refractive Lens Exchange is an ophthalmic surgical procedure wherein the lens of the eye (the clear, hard structure behind the colored part of the eye) is removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL).

How Does Refractive Lens Exchange Work?

RLE and cataract surgery are essentially identical, other than the fact that RLE patients are generally a little younger and do not have medical conditions like cataracts that necessitate the removal of the natural lens. The lenses used for each patient are tailored to the patient's prescription, reducing or even eliminating the need for glasses once the patient has fully healed.

Intraocular lenses are typically multifocal or accommodative, meaning they work for patients over the age of 40 or those who have reached the point of accommodative dysfunction where things up close become difficult to see later in life.

How Is RLE Different from LASIK Surgery?

Refractive Lens Exchange and LASIK both work to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness, but each is performed differently. LASIK modifies the surface of the cornea to direct light onto the macula, which is the center part of the back of the eye (retina). RLE, on the other hand, leaves the cornea entirely intact.

During the procedure, a tiny 2 to 3-millimeter incision is made in the side of the cornea, well out of your field of vision. The surgeon then inserts a thin ultrasound probe, which uses gentle sound waves to break up the natural crystalline lens. The tissue is then removed with a small suction device, and the intraocular lens is placed inside the eye where the natural lens used to be.

This procedure is generally relatively quick and only causes minimal discomfort. Like with the LASIK procedure, your surgeon may offer you a mild sedative before the procedure to help you relax. Then, your eye will be numbed using special anesthetic drops. The surgeon will use an instrument to hold your eyelid open so you don't blink during the procedure. You may feel pressure from this device, but you should not feel any pain.

How to Know If Refractive Lens Exchange Is Right for You

Refractive Lens Exchange is often a viable option for patients who aren't good candidates for LASIK surgery. For example, if you are aged 38, it may not benefit you as much to get LASIK since you will likely need reading glasses in a few years. RLE is a permanent solution to vision distortions that are ideally placed just as patients are beginning to need readers.

Make an appointment for an eye health review

At I Love LASIK, we're dedicated to helping our patients select the right vision correction solution for them. Contact us today for a comprehensive evaluation to discuss treatment options available for your unique needs by calling (718) 630-1070.