People 45 and over will inevitably find that they need glasses to read. Gradually, it becomes difficult to read small print, or in low light – this is a natural process called presbyopia.
A refractive lens exchange is much like a cataract operation – in fact, it comes from the fact that, when cataract patients were given a new artificial lens to replace their cloudy lens, they were pleasantly surprised that they could read without their glasses, or at least reduce their dependancy on glasses.
For me, a typical RLE patient would be 50 years or over. I’ll sit down and discuss their lifestyle and what outcome they want, and it may be that I then recommend them another procedure.
If a refractive lens exchange is right for them, I’ll then ensure that the lens chosen for them is suited to their needs. There are a wide range of Intraocular (IOL) Lenses available now, including bifocal lenses (just like bifocal glasses).
A refractive lens exchange will take place in our day surgery, and the patient will be in and out usually within 3 hours. The actual procedure takes about 30 minutes an eye. Most people recover quickly and experience minimal discomfort – in fact, the next day, they’re usually able to go about their normal business.
The benefits of an RLE include highly predictable outcomes (as are the outcomes of a cataract procedure), a fast recovery and a low risk of side effects. Again, not everyone is right for the procedure, but if you’re over 45, it’s certainly one of the options.
For more information on a refractive lens exchange, please click here.