Are There Any Side Effects to Refractive Lens Exchange?

If you have considered eye surgery to improve your vision, you may be thinking of procedures like LASIK. Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is an alternative to laser eye surgery for achieving clear vision. It also offers additional benefits that do not come with procedures like LASIK. While all procedures carry some risk of side effects, RLE is a safe procedure with very high patient satisfaction. 

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange is also known as clear lens exchange (CLE) or lens replacement surgery. This procedure removes your eye’s natural lens and replaces it with an artificial one. The replacement lens is clear and made of bio-safe material to stay in your eye for a lifetime. RLE can improve your vision and protect you from many age-related changes that affect natural lenses. It offers an effective, permanent alternative to laser eye surgeries like LASIK. 

, Are There Any Side Effects to Refractive Lens Exchange?, Vold Vision

How Does Refractive Lens Exchange Work?

An RLE procedure uses eye drops and IV medication to keep you comfortable and relaxed. The procedure takes a few minutes per eye. Your eye surgeon makes a tiny incision in the capsule that contains your lens, then gently breaks up the lens and extracts it. They will place your new lens inside the capsule. The incision is so small that no sutures are needed. Once the lens is in place, you cannot see or feel it. 

Are There Any Side Effects to Refractive Lens Exchange?

Lens replacement surgery has minimal side effects, and most people find them only mildly bothersome. The most common side effects people experience after the procedure are minor and include:

  • Blurriness
  • Irritation
  • Burning
  • Sensitivity

These effects typically resolve within a day or two. Your Vold Vision team will provide antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops to help your eyes heal. Most people do not experience any problems with their new lenses. They are intended to remain in place for the rest of your life, so they will not break down or develop problems over time. 

Clear lens exchange is almost identical to cataract surgery. The only difference is that the natural lens does not have a cataract. This procedure is extremely common and is performed on millions of people every year with minimal side effects. 

What is Recovery Like After Refractive Lens Exchange?

Most people see improved vision within 24 hours of their procedure. You can usually return to work, driving, and other activities in one to two days. Your vision will continue to improve during the first week until it reaches 20/20 or better. Avoid eye makeup, swimming, or contact sports for a week after eye surgery. Recovery from this procedure is comparable to LASIK in how quickly you can return to normal activities. 

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What Results Will I See With Refractive Lens Exchange?

Your new lenses can correct a range of refractive errors, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. It can treat stronger prescriptions than other procedures. Replacement lenses can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. 

RLE also has long-term benefits. Your natural lenses experience several effects of aging that affect your vision. People who have RLE will never develop presbyopia (age-related difficulty seeing things close-up), a condition that affects almost everyone over the age of 45. They will also never need cataract surgery since their replacement lenses will never become cloudy. 

Am I a Good Candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange?

Most adults with healthy eyes are good candidates for clear lens exchange. You may be a good candidate for this procedure even if you are not a candidate for laser eye surgery like LASIK. People with abnormal or thin corneas can usually still have RLE. It is also appropriate for people with dry eye or those who engage in contact sports. 

Only a consultation can determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for RLE. People with macular degeneration, diabetes-related eye disease, or some corneal conditions may not be good candidates. Your Vold Vision team specializes in finding customized solutions that help anyone achieve better vision and more freedom. 

If you’re looking for a company that will take care of you, look no further than Vold Vision. From the start of my lasik journey til now, they have gone out of their way to make sure I am taken care of. The staff was phenomenal and the procedure was flawless. You won’t be in better hands. Do yourself a favor and check them out!
M. I.

Take the Next Step

You’ll benefit not only from the latest technologies available but also from our compassionate, personal approach. You’re more than a patient at Vold Vision in Bentonville and Fayetteville. We strive to make you as comfortable as possible while evaluating the optimal treatment plan just for you. We invite Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Springdale residents to contact us today for a consultation at (479) 442-8653.

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