What Is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Our professional group of eye specialists is delighted to perform RLE (refractive lens exchange) for adults in Birmingham, AL. RLE is exactly the same procedure as cataract surgery, but the patient isn't impacted by cataracts. With RLE, the patient's lens is replaced with a premium intraocular lens, or IOL, to correct or drastically reduce certain kinds of refractive issues and restore focusing power and sharp vision at multiple ranges. RLE can be an exciting treatment possibility for individuals who live with abnormally high degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness and who might not be eligible for laser refractive vision procedures. Another perk is that the artificial lens isn't susceptible to cataracts. Contact or visit inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham soon to schedule an exam, and find out whether RLE is the best option for you.
Am I A Candidate For Refractive Lens Exchange?
Typically, refractive lens exchange is conducted for people with severe cases of myopia or hyperopia that aren't able to be corrected using laser refractive surgery. Refractive lens exchange can also be suggested for patients whose corneal tissue is too thin for LASIK or other common kinds of laser eye procedures.
After your first exam at inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham to determine if you're eligible for the procedure, our specialists will identify the most appropriate type of IOLs for your unique refractive error needs. Your premium IOLs are then individually created.
"She was very thorough and patiently explained any questions or concerns I had. The friendly staff was a big plus for me also."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Apr 30, 2023
"Great doctor. My son has been going to her since he was 3 years old. He is very near sighted. He is 15 years old now."- C.L. / Google / Jul 31, 2022
"I recently had an eye exam by Dr. Stephanie Bedsole. To start, I have a very complicated prescription. I have astigmatism, double vision, and dry eyes. I wear progressives with a prism (for the double vision) and a rotation for astigmatism.While my previous eye doctors have been competent it is Dr. Bedsole’s going over and above mere competence which allows her to stand out over and above other optometrists. To begin with, Dr. Bedsole answered several emails and questions I had even before I made my first appointment with her.Dr. Bedsole provided a very thorough eye exam. She answered all of my questions and at no time did I feel rushed. She double-checked my prescription once with my eyes not dilated and once with them dilated. Seriously, she performed the entire eye exam TWICE. At every stage of the exam, I asked her question after question. She very patiently and with expertise answered every question. She not only understood one issue I was having with the eye exam and knew exac"- B.D. / Healthgrades / Jul 30, 2022
"The office is clean and inviting. The staff was attentive and kind. The doctor was an expert in dry eyes and explained my condition and treatment plan very well. With her help and expertise I am able to wear contacts again! Best eye doctor in Tuscaloosa."- A.B. / Google / Jul 19, 2022
"I had RLE on both eyes three weeks ago and I’ve never seen this well in my life. From “coke bottle” glasses in the 2nd grade, to years of uncomfortable saucer-like contacts, to 20/20 vision today, this is a game changer. I am truly grateful for Dr. Choi and his staff. In addition to skill and professionalism, they are kind and personable."- C.M. / Google / Mar 20, 2022
HOW IS RLE performed?
Our team at inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham performs refractive lens exchange as an outpatient surgery that usually is finished in about a quarter of an hour; however, if you plan to receive new lenses for both eyes, you should wait at least seven days between surgeries. Before beginning your RLE procedure, a member of our team will give you eye drops to completely numb the eyes, as well as a soothing sedative to maximize relaxation if requested. We will create an extremely tiny incision in the corneal tissue and use specialized technology to delicately disintegrate the lens and take it out. Then, we will put the customized IOL in the eye through the existing, nearly microscopic incision, which will seal up all by itself within a week.
Refractive Lens Exchange FAQ
Is RLE painful?
No, most patients do not find RLE painful or uncomfortable. Before we begin, your eyes will be completely numbed with anesthetic drops. We can also provide a calming sedative to enhance your comfort. While your eyes are recovering after the procedure, typically about 24 – 48 hours, you may experience some minor irritation or discomfort, but this can be easily controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers (always consult your physician before taking any medications).
How long does RLE take?
RLE is quick and easy. Most RLE procedures can be completed in about 15 minutes for one eye. If you are having both eyes treated, we will typically recommend having one done and then waiting a week to have the other eye treated.
Is RLE safe?
Yes, for the majority of patients a refractive lens exchange procedure is generally considered safe and effective. In fact, RLE is considered as safe as cataract surgery, with numerous clinical studies showing a very high degree of safety.
Will I still have to wear glasses after RLE?
It will depend on what type of lenses you choose. Monofocal lenses are typically only correct for distance vision, so if you choose these, you will still need glasses for reading and close work. Other lenses, like multifocal lenses, can correct for both distance and near vision, dramatically reducing or in some cases, even eliminating reliance on glasses and contact lenses.
How long does RLE last?
RLEis permanent. Artificial intraocular lenses are a permanent replacement for your eyes' natural lenses, are made from extremely durable materials, and typically last the rest of your life.
Long-Term Clear Vision
RLE at inVision Ophthalmology Birmingham is an innovative procedure that can significantly enhance not just your eyesight but your general self-confidence. For adults who aren't ideal candidates for LASIK, refractive lens exchange has the potential to reduce or erase the dependence on corrective lenses, in addition to the possibility of developing cataracts. Reach out to or visit our Birmingham, AL location to plan your first appointment.