RLE – refractive lens exchange or lens replacement surgery – is a corrective eye surgery and alternative to LASIK. Bernitsky Vision of Albuquerque offers this procedure to patients who may not be a good candidate for LASIK or who could gain additional benefit from lens replacement. If you are over 45 and searching for an alternative to reading glasses, RLE may be right for you. RLE is particularly well-suited for people over 45 who are significantly far-sighted, or have early cataracts.
How Lens Replacement Surgery Works
RLE uses the same techniques as traditional cataract surgery. First, the natural lens is removed. It is then replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL corrects the refractive error in the eye, achieving sharper focus and improving presbyopia and hyperopia (farsightedness). Refractive lens exchange can be performed in order to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses or bifocals in most people.
Who is a Good Candidate for RLE?
Lens replacement surgery is most effective in patients over the age of 45 with hyperopia, presbyopia, and/or early cataracts. In particular, presbyopia – an age-related condition caused by a loss of flexibility in the eye’s natural lens – can often be very effectively improved with RLE.
RLE is an especially useful technique for treating patients who also suffer from cataracts. The cataract can be removed and vision corrected at the same time. LASIK does not correct the visual loss caused by cataracts.
Lens replacement surgery can be used to treat nearsightedness in certain circumstances, but other treatments from Bernitsky Vision such as LASIK, or the ICL implantable contact lens may be better alternatives for nearsightedness.
Schedule a Consultation
Some patients are not good candidates for LASIK due to the presence of cataracts, chronic dry eye and other factors. Talk to Dr. Bernitsky about your options to see whether you are a good candidate for LASIK, RLE or another of the corrective procedures performed at Bernitsky Vision of Albuquerque.