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Refractive Lens Exchange Improves Vision

Sunday, January 26, 2014 @ 07:01 AM
Author: Amit Mathur

A refractive lens exchange is a lens replacement surgery that uses an Inraocular Lens Impant (IOL.) This procedure is similar to a cataract surgery, the only difference is that the natural lens being taken out is clear, not cloudy. There isn’t a cataract present. The same surgical process, high success rate, and minimal risk for side effects still apply.

The 15 minute process begins with numbing the eye with droops. The natural lens is then destroyed and removed. Then the artificial lens is set in place. Minimal discomfort can be expected, including scratchiness, burred vision, and sensitivity to light.

There are three types of replacement lenses that can be used in the procedure:

  • Mono-focal. These lenses offer clear vision at any distance, near or far, just not simultaneously.
  • Multi-focal. These lenses offer clear vision at various distances simultaneously.
  • Accommodating IOL’s. These lenses allow patients to see at various distances as long as the eye position changes.

Refractive lens exchange is used for patients with presbyopia and extreme farsightedness. It’s especially useful for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK eye surgery. It is ideal for older patients, but the preferred candidate is at least 21. It is not ideal for those with diabetes or autoimmune diseases. Glaucoma and other eye problems can also worsen after a reflective lens exchange, so it is not recommended. An ophthalmologist can confirm if the surgery is right for a specific candidate or not based on a recent eye exam and their medical history.

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