Many active people in their 40s and 50s come to us for a consultation to address their loss of near vision, or what is known as presbyopia. This gradual degradation in near vision is a normal aging process of the eye's natural lens, but the resulting lens dysfunction results in millions of people each year needing to wear reading glasses, or even bifocals. While glasses can temporarily restore the near vision, they have some disadvantages too. Reading glasses easily become scratched, broken, fogged, and misplaced. Bifocals are quite costly, and can cause dangerous shifts in vision while looking down to navigate stairs or irregular terrain, and increases the risk of falling. And besides, who wants to be caught in public with bifocals when you have taken great care of your health and aren't showing other signs of aging yet?!
Fortunately, a safe and effective alternative is now available to permanently replace your dysfunctional lens with an advanced technology lens in a painless procedure that takes less than 10 minutes! This procedure, known as Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), involves gently dissolving the dysfunctional lens using ultrasound and then replacing it with an advanced artificial lens that is designed to correct your full range of distance, intermediate, and near vision. And in most cases, patients are able to retain this glasses-free vision for the remainder of their lives, as the procedure prevents the formation of cataracts in the future.
Is RLE the same as LASIK?
Not exactly, but the results can be even better! LASIK is safe and effective vision correction option for those age 20-40, as it uses a laser to reshape the cornea for better distance vision. However, it does not address the dysfunctional lens found in those over 40. Therefore, patients who choose LASIK after 40 need to be comfortable with either monovision correction (one distance eye, one near eye), or wearing reading glasses. Alternatively, RLE provides both distance AND near correction with one procedure, and avoids needing cataract surgery later in life, whereas LASIK does not prevent the need for cataract surgery in the future.
Are the artificial lenses used in RLE safe?
Absolutely! Modern lens replacement with cataract surgery and artificial lenses have been safely performed since the 1970s, and Dr Vrabec has personally performed over 5000 lens-based vision correcting procedures using artificial lenses for 15 years. During your consultation, we take detailed measurements of your eyes to make sure you are a candidate for RLE, and will recommend a lens custom fit to your unique anatomy and vision goals. Several types of advanced technology lenses can be paired with RLE, including the RxSight Light-Adjustable Lens (RxLAL), which allows you to fine-tune and customize your vision in the weeks after the procedure. Other advanced artificial lenses such as the PanOptix, Vivity, or Toric lenses may also be an option for you depending on your unique eyes and vision goals.
If you are ready to renew your vision, schedule a consultation by calling us at 248-710-2325 or Book A Consultation Online today!