What is RLE?
After 40, our vision changes. The lens of the eye becomes firmer – called presbyopia – which makes it harder for us to focus on objects up close. If this sounds familiar, you may be a perfect candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE).
In the RLE procedure, your surgeons replaces your eye’s natural lens (which now has the wrong “prescription” for good eyesight) with an artificial intra-optical implant (IOL) – an artificial lens with the perfect “prescription” for clear, crisp focus at any distance.
What’s The Recovery Time For RLE?
RLE is an incredibly fast procedure with almost no downtime. RLE is an outpatient procedure that takes about 10 minutes, and most patients can return to their everyday activities in 1-2 days after their procedure. Most patients report improvement to their vision immediately!
In the next several weeks after your procedure, you may feel a scratchy sensation and potentially experience blurred vision, haloess or glare as your eyes heal. This is normal, and temporary.
Will I Feel Pain With RLE?
As with LASIK, every possible step is taken to make sure you are completely comfortable during your procedure. Numbing eyedrops will be applied to your eyes before your procedure starts to make sure your eyes are complete anesthetized before your procedure.
Will I Feel The New Lens In My Eye?
No. Just like you can’t feel a dental filling in your tooth, you won’t be able to feel the new lens in your eye.
Benefits Of RLE Over LASIK
RLE is a great alternative to LASIK and PRK, especially for older patients who are nearsighted or who have severe farsightedness. Also, RLE can be combined with LASIK or PRK to provide outstanding, double-powered results.
Some benefits of RLE that LASIK can’t beat include:
- RLE leaves the corneas intact, preventing some complications
- RLE prevents cataracts, eliminating the need for cataract surgery in the future
- RLE vision corrections are permanent with no risk of regression, unlike LASIK
- You have a variety of options available for IOLs
RLE Is Basically Cataract Surgery With A Clear Lens
RLE replaces the natural lens in your eye just like cataract surgery does. The only difference is that instead of replacing a cloudy lens caused by a cataract, RLE replaces a clear lens that is impacting your vision in other ways. Cataract/RLE surgery is now the most common surgery in medicine today!
RLE Eliminates The Possibility Of Getting Cataracts
Since RLE removes the eye’s natural lens and replaces it with an artificial one, it is impossible to ever grow a cataract. Therefore, RLE completely eliminates the possibility that you will ever need cataract surgery in the future.
Cost Of RLE
Lens replacement surgery generally costs about twice as much as LASIK. So make sure to talk to your doctor about your options before choosing RLE – a less-expensive alternative may be all you need. Like LASIK, RLE is usually not covered by vision or health insurance, so you’ll be paying out of pocket, with your FSA or HSA, or using credit.