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Refractive Lens Exchange


Replacing your Natural Lens to Achieve Clear Vision 


Refractive lens exchange (RLE) replaces your eye’s clear natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to correct visual conditions and achieve clear vision. RLE typically is for people with presbyopia (an age-related inability to see near objects clearly) or extreme farsightedness (inability to see near objects at any age), for whom laser vision correction is not suitable. If you have both presbyopia and moderate to severe hyperopia, RLE may be the only viable option for clear vision and minimal reliance on glasses after refractive surgery. Often, people who have astigmatism (blurred vision caused by improperly rounded corneas) also are good candidates for RLE.  Like Laser Vision Correction, RLE is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic.

Types of Refractive Lens Exchange

Three common types of RLE are Monovision, AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL and Visian ICL®.

  1. Monovision is a way to correct presbyopia, which is an inability to see sharp images at all distances as we age. One eye is corrected to see near objects and the other eye is corrected to see distant objects.
  2. AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL is a correction for astigmatism, a common condition that causes blurred vision because the cornea is not properly rounded. A high percentage of those who choose Toric IOLs do not need to use glasses any more.
  3. Visian ICL® is High Definition Vision providing vision correction that goes beyond laser vision correction. It is a phakic IOL, like a contact lens, that is implanted within your eye to correct for nearsightedness.  

RLE Procedure Options

  • Monovision Correction (RLE)
  • AcrySof® IQ Toric IOLs for Astigmatism
  • Visian ICL ®
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