Your eyes change throughout your life, and as you age, it’s common for problems to develop with your near vision. Once you reach the age of forty, you will likely begin to struggle when reading small print. 

If you are looking for permanent options for vision correction, refractive lens exchange may be an ideal choice. Keep reading to learn if you can say goodbye to readers after a refractive lens exchange!

What is Presbyopia?

Presbyopia is a refractive error that causes a gradual change in your near vision. As your eyes age, the lens inside your eye begins to harden and lose its flexibility.

If your lens cannot be flexible, it will be unable to bend the light to fall on the retina appropriately. When you notice that it’s hard to focus on small print or close-up work in dim light, it’s likely the start of presbyopia. 

Symptoms of presbyopia include difficulty reading small print or the need to hold printed material farther away to see it. You may also experience headaches and eyestrain. 

Presbyopia can affect you even if you are nearsighted and need glasses for distance viewing, such as driving a car or watching a movie. If you’ve typically worn single-vision glasses to see at a distance, you may find that you need an additional pair of glasses to read.

These glasses are often called readers, and you can find them over-the-counter at your local store. For those who find having two pairs of glasses frustrating and inconvenient, bifocals or progressive lenses offer clear distance and close-up vision in a single pair.

While these glasses are more convenient, they are also more expensive. 

If you wear contact lenses to correct your distance vision, you will still need glasses for reading, either prescription lenses or the inexpensive readers commonly sold in drugstores. 

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

During refractive lens exchange or RLE, your eye’s natural lens is replaced with an intraocular lens, also known as an IOL. In this exchange, you will be able to experience sharp sight for reading and close work.

During the Refractive Lens Exchange procedure, your eye surgeon will make a small incision at the edge of the cornea. Then, they will remove your natural lens.

Your eye surgeon will then place a new artificial intraocular lens in its place. The procedure takes just twenty to twenty-five minutes. 

Visual recovery is quick, and the results are permanent. With your aging natural lens removed, there will be no need for cataract surgery in the future. 

Can Refractive Lens Exchange Treat Presbyopia?

Presbyopia has been corrected with glasses for hundreds of years. Thankfully modern science gives those with presbyopia choices that can free them from the burden of wearing glasses or contacts.

You can say goodbye to your readers through vision correction surgery and enjoy clear sight with reduced dependence on glasses. LASIK is a successful procedure for many vision problems.

However, LASIK is not the best choice to correct presbyopia. Instead, a procedure called Refractive Lens Exchange, or RLE, is often recommended to combat these near vision changes. 

What Kind of Lenses are Used in RLE?

The best candidates for RLE are older adults who are farsighted or nearsighted. Not only will RLE treat your vision problems, it will significantly reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts if you rely on them every day. 

You have a variety of choices to improve your vision with RLE. An advanced multifocal intraocular lens will allow you to see up close, far away, and in between. 

At Chicago Cornea Consultants, we use Alcon PanOptix trifocal IOL, AMO Tecnis, and the Bausch and Lomb Crystalens. The Artisan Phakic IOL, known as ArtiLens, can correct nearsightedness.

While the procedure is intended to be permanent, it can be reversed. 

You have many choices if you’re tired of wearing glasses and want the freedom of an intraocular lens to correct vision problems such as presbyopia.

Are you interested in learning more about how a refractive lens exchange can improve your reading vision? Schedule an appointment at Chicago Cornea Consultants in Highland Park, IL, today!

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