As the natural lens in your eye matures, it causes a decrease in the quality of your vision. Refractive Lens Exchange utilizes the advanced laser assisted surgical techniques that have made cataract surgery so successful. RLE allows for a fairly quick recovery, and the post-operative drops are tapered over three weeks. RLE is best utilized in patient’s with early cataracts who would like improved vision without glasses. The lens options for Refractive Lens Exchange are listed below:
With this option, a single focus lens is placed inside the eye, allowing for either distance or near vision without glasses. The Catalys laser technology corrects mild amounts of astigmatism during the procedure, and the ORA aberrometer helps confirm the correct power of lens implant.
The Toric lens corrects higher levels of astigmatism than what the laser can correct. This lens has revolutionized the way we treat such high astigmatism. We also use the ORA intraoperative aberrometer and Catalys laser technology to improve the precision needed for these specialty lens implants.
Both of these options correct for one level of vision, near or far. However, you may consider an option called “monovision” with a monofocal or a toric lens. With monovision your dominant eye is corrected for distance vision while the other eye is corrected for near or intermediate vision. Both near and far objects should be clear once your brain adapts to monovision. Many patients enjoy the freedom afforded by monovision, but your vision is never as good as when both of your eyes are seeing at one distance. You may notice that your depth perception may be slightly reduced with monovision.
This is the best option if you would like to be less dependent on glasses for most of your activities. Multifocal lenses give you the option to see objects clearly at multiple distances without glasses—near, far, and occasionally in between. The lens design focuses light from different distances on to the retina. Through a learning process (neuroadaptation) patients are able to focus on these multiple distances. For people who are active and find wearing glasses inconvenient, the multifocal lens can be the best choice. Most patients may notice rings or halos around lights when driving at night right after surgery. But over time, the visual impression of these rings typically lessens, as your eye and brain adapt to the lens. There are different styles of multifocal lenses available. Your surgeon will help you choose the mulitifocal lens that best suits your individual needs.