RLE is also known as lens replacement surgery. People who are suffering from presbyopia and high hyperopia can go for RLE rather than PRK, LASIK or PHAKIC. RLE places an IOL lens in place of original lens to correct refractive error and achieve sharp focus. It reduces the need for glasses or bifocals.
An Alternative for Specific Vision Issues
Lens replacement surgery does not possess FDA approval technically, some surgeons perform this as an off label procedure. Other laser surgeries like LASIK and PRK is not suitable for people dealing with extreme farsightedness and presbyopia. RLE is the only available option for such people to get clear vision. It can also correct myopia but it is generally not recommended when other options such as LASIK is available.
Types of IOLs for Varied Vision Needs
RLE involves replacing the eye's natural lens with an artificial one. There are three main types of IOLs available, each catering to different vision requirements:
- Monofocal fixed - focus IOL: Provides clear vision at near, intermediate and distant ranges, but not all combined. IOL like Toric, used to correct astigmatism is classified as monofocal IOL.
- Multifocal IOL: Provides clear vision for multiple distances
- Accommodating IOL: it is a type of monofocal lens which enables to focus at multiple distances by shifting the lens position in eye.
The RLE Procedure and Recovery
The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and usually takes 15 minutes or less. It is to be noted that the procedure is done after a week gap on another eye. Numbing drops are used. It usually takes about a week for full recovery. One may notice glare, halo or blurry vision during the healing process. There is no feeling of an artificial IOL in your eye and others also won’t be able to find as it is inside the eye and not on the surface. The artificial IOL is a permanent replacement and there is nothing to worry for a lifetime.
Benefits and Considerations
Monofocal IOL is the widely done surgery and it provides contrast sensitivity along with excellent vision. But they are designed to focus on a single distance, one may need glasses for reading and working in computer. An ARC coated glass may help you at this time and if you feel glare after lens exchange, photochromic glass may help you to see clearly, adjusting outdoor light conditions. RLE is associated with high complications such as infection, droopy eyelid, increased eye pressure, retinal detachment etc. But these risks are to be taken lightly when the strong desire not to wear glasses arise.
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