Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) in Huntington Beach, CA
19671 Beach Blvd. Suite 400 Huntington Beach, California 92648
Also serving, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, & Orange County
Laser-based refractive surgeries like LASIK and PRK get a lot of attention, but not all patients are suited to these procedures. One popular alternative is refractive lens exchange (RLE). Like cataract surgery, RLE involves removing your eye’s natural lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) that can permanently correct nearsightedness and/or farsightedness.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange?
While LASIK works best for patients who are under the age of 40, RLE is suitable for people over 40. During middle age, the lens goes through some natural changes that make an IOL a more practical and effective treatment.
Age is not the only factor. RLE is also the better option for patients with weak or irregular corneas that should not be reshaped with a laser. In cases where a patient’s myopia or hyperopia is severe enough to be outside the recommended limits for LASIK, a high-quality IOL can often handle the correction.
RLE Long-Term Benefits
There are some long-term benefits to the procedure as well. While in some cases the effects of laser correction can fade a bit over time, refractive lens exchange is indefinitely. Moreover, cataracts — which affect about half of all Americans over the age of 75 — are unable to form on these lenses.
During a consultation, the expert doctors at Clarity Eye Group can evaluate your vision and determine your candidacy for RLE or an alternative procedure.
RLE Intraocular Lens Options
Clarity Eye Group offers an extensive selection of premium IOL brands:
- Alcon PanOptix
- Alcon AcrySof IQ Vivity
While some eye centers only offer one or two choices, our doctors prefer to have an array of options so that we can best treat your unique vision needs. We use state-of-the-art technology to get precise measurements of your sight and will make a professional recommendation based on these tests.
Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure Details
Ahead of your surgery, you will receive numbing eye drops to help keep the procedure pain-free. Your surgeon will start by cutting a small slit in your eye. Through that opening, the surgeon will perform phacoemulsification to break apart and pull out the eye’s natural lens. Next, the surgeon will replace the lens with an IOL where it will remain in place permanently. The whole procedure is completed in about half an hour.
A week later, you will return to the office to treat the other eye. We intentionally separate these procedures so that you are never completely visually impaired during your recovery. It is also wise to verify that there have been no complications with the first eye before proceeding with the other one.
Refractive Lens Exchange Recovery
Most patients will be able to see better as soon as the eyedrops wear off, though it will probably take multiple weeks before the full results manifest with the quality of vision fluctuating in the interim.
You should plan to have someone else drive you home from the procedure and look after you for the first day. Focus on resting and relaxing rather than engaging in strenuous activity for at least two days.
While the eye is healing, you may experience small side effects like blurry vision halos around light or glare. You may also notice some slight discomfort, though that can be managed with pain medication.
Make an Appointment
If having a minor surgery to avoid the hassle of wearing prescription lenses seems like a worthwhile bargain, meet with the eye team at Clarity Eye Group to determine if refractive lens exchange can improve your vision. For an appointment, please call (714) 842-0651.