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An alternative to LASIK yet similar to cataract surgery.

Replacing the natural lens to correct a range of vision.

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), also called clear lens extraction, is a popular option for patients who want to decrease or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts but are not suitable candidates for laser vision correction. RLE is typically for patients with moderate to severe farsightedness or those over the age of 40 who have become dependent on bifocals or reading glasses. During RLE, the eye’s natural lens is replaced with an artificial lens to correct a range of vision (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia).

differnt types of refractive lenses

Refractive Lens Exchange options include ReSTOR® and Toric®

Dr. Maloney looking into a device

When we are young, the natural lens acts like the zoom function in a camera, allowing us to focus up close, without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. As we age, the lens progressively becomes dysfunctional resulting in loss of near vision (presbyopia) that requires the use of reading glasses or bifocals. With aging the lens also progressively becomes hard, yellow and cloudy (cataract), which blocks and scatters light reducing visual quality, quantity and color perception.

The lens continually ages throughout life, resulting in the need for reading glasses or bifocals in your 40s and cataract surgery in your 70s or 80s. Lens changes cause progressive deterioration in our vision and the progression is unpredictable and varies from person to person.

With the advancement in technology and the safety of the procedure, patients are choosing to have their natural lenses replaced at an earlier age. Because of their active lifestyles, many patients do not want to have to tolerate the years of progressive decline in their vision as they develop cataracts; they want it fixed permanently now.

Refractive Lens Exchange has many benefits, primarily the improvement in both near and distance vision. Since the natural lens has been replaced, cataract surgery will never be needed and the artificial lens will not age, providing visual stability to the lens of the eye.

Educational Video

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Schedule Your RLE Consultation & Comprehensive Exam

Find out about all of your treatment options.

You don’t want to decide on a Refractive Lens Exchange treatment without learning all of the facts. Your eyes are as unique as your fingerprints, and you’ll want to consult a specialist to help you decide on the best way to preserve your vision.

At MSVI, our Vision Correction Specialists will give you a thorough examination and explain all of your options, so that you can make an informed decision about the right solution for you.

  • Dr. Shamie smiling and sitting on a couch
  • Dr. Shamie administering the iDesign system on a patient
  • Dr. Maloney in suit sitting in a chair smiling
  • Dr. Maloney in scrubs smiling

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