Refractive Lens Exchange
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WHAT IS REFRACTIVE LENS EXCHANGE?
Cataract surgery offers patients a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their natural – but clouded – lens removed and replaced with a man-made lens designed to optimally focus images to enhance eyesight as much as is possible for that individual.
But did you know, vision correction can be achieved by performing this same procedure even before cataracts are present or fully developed?
This procedure is known as Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE.
In RLE, the surgeon and patient come together to choose a lens implant that has the design characteristics most likely to help the patient to achieve his or her vision correction goals. These goals often include some combination of the following choices:
- Correcting distance vision (making tasks such as recognizing people’s faces at a distance, driving, watching television, and similar social activities possible without eyeglasses or contact lenses)
- Correcting distance and intermediate vision (all of the above goals, as well as the ability to see and use a computer or tablet, see your dashboard gauges clearly, see a menu, golf, tennis, fishing, playing cards, shooting and many other outdoor activities)
- Correcting distance and near vision (all of the benefits of correcting near vision as well as the ability to comfortably read normal size books and other printed materials)
- Correcting distance, intermediate and near vision (all of the benefits of each of the categories above.
Some patients have additional vision correction needs that must be taken into account and addressed as part of the plan of correction if they have a visually significant amount of corneal astigmatism.
Corneal Astigmatism exists when the front part of the eye – the cornea – is not nearly perfectly round (stated more technically, when each meridian is not an equal number of degrees). Should this be an issue in your case, our surgeon may recommend an astigmatism correcting distance lens implant, known as a toric lens implant. He may also recommend an Extended Range, High-Technology Toric Lens Implant, known as the Symfony Toric Lens Implant (designed both to correct astigmatism as well as to provide the benefits of enhanced intermediate vision,) or he may suggest a Monofocal Toric Lens Implant along with a secondary procedure to correct astigmatism – either a Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) or LASIK or Blade-Free CustomVue LASIK – each of which is designed to change the shape of the cornea and more clearly focus images onto the back of your eye – thus minimizing the effects of corneal astigmatism that interfere with achieving clear vision.
HOW WILL WE DETERMINE IF YOU ARE A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR RLE?
In order to determine if you are a good candidate for RLE or another vision correction procedure, you must have a vision correction consultation with one of our surgeons who specialize in performing these services.
In many cases, you can start with a screening to learn about the potential for having the procedure, how it is performed, what your various options are, the costs, and what reasonable expectations you can expect to achieve. We, in turn will want to know what your goals are, and we will help to guide you towards those procedures or the procedure, most likely to help you achieve your goals.
If you have had a screening and believe that vision correction is something you may want to proceed with, the next step is your consultation and measurements. During the consultation you will receive a thorough, comprehensive eye examination. Your pupils will be dilated (unless you have narrow anatomical angles that may prevent dilation) so that Dr. Darlington can obtain a detailed view of your retina (the back of your eye). It is at this time that the surgeon will inform you if he believes you are a good candidate for a vision correction procedure, and, if so, which procedure(s).
If you are interested in learning whether or not Refractive Lens Exchange is right for you, please contact us at 321-722-4443 with questions or to schedule a screening with Dr. Jason Darlington.