Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is pretty much the exact same procedure as Cataract Surgery, except the lenses, the surgeon removes from a patient’s eyes are not yet plagued by cataracts.
Cataracts, which form with age and exposure to UV light, have to be removed later in life and replaced with intraocular lenses (IOL; a nice word for artificial lenses). In a Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), there is no full cataract formed yet – a surgeon is basically swapping out your natural lenses, which are obviously faulty with your visual issues, for some new artificial/intraocular lenses. Same procedure.
So if there’s no cataract, why would you want the procedure?
A cataract means that the natural lens is cloudy and vision is impaired. But cloudiness isn’t the only thing that happens to the natural lens over time. It’s simply the last straw. People having Refractive Lens Exchange, do it for two reasons.
The first is that the natural lens by age 40-45 has become stiff and lost its ability to change shape to focus from distance to near. Not quite cloudy yet, but stiff. The stiffness, which we call presbyopia, typically requires either reading glasses or bifocals. And when Shinagawa doctors perform RLE surgery, they often use a lens technology that gives a broader range of vision than a typical single-focus lens.
The second reason is to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Some people’s eye anatomy may be a better fit for LASIK than RLE, and others better for RLE than LASIK. As always, make sure to get an opinion from expert surgeons who perform all the options, rather than a one-size-fits-all.
When you are ready to get good vision without the use of glasses or contacts, no one stops the thousands of patients a year who get LASIK, so why not ask about this option can be viable for you, too?
If you have any of the below issues, you may be a Refractive Lens Exchange Candidate:
- You are “too nearsighted” or too myopic for LASIK (usually above a -8.00 RX) (like the video)
- Already having trouble seeing up close (presbyopia)
- Having to buy reading glasses to see the menu at a restaurant
- Blowing up the font on your iPhone to read text messages
- Holding things far away from your face to read them better (magazines, phones, tablets, menus)
You don’t have to wait until cataracts have gradually deteriorated your vision to make a change. Reach us if you’re interested to have RLE! That is what we are here for!
Call our Patient Care Lines: (+632) 7-368 5238 l (+63) 917 862 7454 l (+63) 921 217 0517 for inquiries, questions, and appointments or talk to our consultants via LiveChat here on our website.