Refractive lens exchange is also known as RLE. This procedure replaces the lens in your eye with an artificial lens. There are three types of lenses to address different vision issues. Here are four reasons you may want to have RLE.
- Abnormal Corneas
People who have abnormal corneas are not candidates for LASIK. RLE may provide a way to enhance vision even if your corneas are too thin for LASIK.
Most surgeons cannot perform LASIK if your corneas are too thin. Those with keratoconus have lenses that are cone-shaped.
Eye surgeons may be able to remove the cornea and place an artificial lens that reduces the bulge. These artificial lenses round the cornea and improve nearsightedness.
Individuals who have severe astigmatism are also candidates for RLE. If you have astigmatism you may be sensitive to bright lights and glare.
RLE can improve sight and reduce this sensitivity.
People over 45 often have age-related presbyopia. They struggle to see nearby and need glasses for reading or other up-close activities.
This condition happens as your eyes age, and your lenses are no longer flexible. RLE is popular for people with extremely limited close-up sight.
People with severely nearsighted vision may have flattened corneas or short eyeballs. LASIK and PRK often cannot fix this issue.
RLE replaces the flattened cornea and steepens it. It also elongates the eyeball for those with short eyes. The intraocular lenses can improve focus for near sight.
- To Avoid Cataract Surgery
You may be farsighted and have an increased risk of cataracts. LASIK will not work if you have cataracts.
RLE is an option if you are farsighted and may have cataracts in the future. RLE is the same procedure as cataract surgery. But, the lens that your surgeon removes may not have cataracts yet.
RLE is elective, and the patient chooses to have the procedure to reduce their need for glasses. Surgeons perform cataract surgery if cataracts are impairing your eyesight.
Those with mild cataracts and high presbyopia may get RLE. The procedure will remove the lens before it becomes cloudy and disrupts vision.
RLE can address cataracts and age-related presbyopia or astigmatism.
- You’re Not Eligible for LASIK
People over age 45 are not always candidates for LASIK. To get the vision correction procedure, you must have stable vision for at least a year or more.
If your eyes are changing due to aging, you cannot get LASIK. A LASIK surgeon won’t perform LASIK on people whose vision issues are severe. Those who are too nearsighted or too farsighted will not benefit from having LASIK.
LASIK may cause halos and night vision issues in people who are farsighted or nearsighted. Individuals who are far or nearsighted, and have astigmatism may also have increased vision problems after LASIK. But, they can be candidates for safe and successful RLE procedures.
Curious if RLE is right for you? Schedule a consultation at Envue Eye and Laser Center in Oxon Hill, MD to talk with an eye care specialist about RLE!