Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) in Birmingham, AL

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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.

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.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.