So you want to get rid of reading glasses forever? that’s the topic of
today’s article. I am here to bring you the latest information on eye health
and medicine. The worsening of reading vision as we age is called
treatment for presbyopia. A lot of my patients have been asking me about
ways to eliminate reading glasses permanently.
Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery (RLE)
presbyopia permanently. This type of presbyopia eye surgery is known as
refractive lens exchange surgery or RLE.
expect before and on the day of refractive lens exchange surgery? what is
the recovery process and what are the risks of this type of surgery? Make
sure you read the entire article to learn about both the benefits and risks
of RLE surgery?
How Does Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery Work?
the stiff and aging natural lens in our eyes with an advanced intraocular
lens implant or IOL.
the flexibility of our natural lens. Our natural lens becomes more curved
when the eye muscles contract called “Ciliary body muscles” and our eyes
become more nearsighted.
40s, our lenses gradually lose their flexibility and no longer change shape
as our eye muscles contract causing presbyopia. Although there is no
currently available treatment to restore the elasticity of our natural
lens and replacing it with an advanced IOL to give us a clearer range of
vision including distance, intermediate, and near vision.
Who is a Good Candidate for RLE Surgery?
people who are over the age of 40 and have developed significant presbyopia
or difficulty reading, may want to be evaluated by an eye surgeon for RLE
free of significant eye diseases. For example, people who have glaucoma,
macular degeneration, significant diabetic eye disease, a history of retinal
detachment, eye inflammation, or any significant disease of the cornea, are
not good candidates for RLE surgery.
of the eye are also typically not good candidates for RLE surgery.
prescription over minus 15 diopters, the length of the eyeball is extremely
long and this increases the risk of developing retinal detachment including
What to Expect before RLE Surgery?
surgery. So what can you expect during your evaluation for RLE?
to have a full eye exam by your eye surgeon and complete extensive testing
and measurements of your eyes.
curvature and length of the eye, a full eye exam with pupil dilation,
examining the health of the optic nerve and retina inside of the eye. Also,
the strength of the glasses prescription for both distance and near vision
is recorded during the exam.
your eye surgeon and you will pick the best advanced intraocular lens
implant for your eyes. There are two main types of advanced IOLs that are
currently available in the US for presbyopia correction.
- Multifocal IOL (MFIOL)
- Extended depth of focus (EDOF) IOL
functional vision needs as well as any vision requirements for their
profession and lifestyle.
What to expect on surgery day and vision recovery after surgery?
your eyes after surgery?
occasionally at the same. It is an outpatient procedure that takes about 15
minutes for each eye and you will go home the same day.
They will receive IV or local sedatives to stay conscious but in a very
relaxed state. The surgery itself is painless and patients will be using
different types of eye drops with a tapered schedule in the weeks of the
In general, your vision will be blurry on the day of surgery. With a
successful RLE surgery, your vision should be much clearer the day after
surgery and you should be able to resume most of your vision tasks the day
after surgery such as:
- Watching television
- Reading or light reading
and may have some light sensitivity for about a week after surgery.
surgery. But it is not unusual for you to experience small fluctuations in
your vision during the first month after surgery.
after surgery, significant eye pain and sudden significant vision change
are unusual and can be signs of potentially serious complications. If you
experience those or any other concerning symptoms, you should contact your
eye surgeon right away.
However, a small percentage of patients may take a few months to fully
recover their vision after RLE surgery. Usually, patients will be following
up with their eye surgeon or eye doctor a few times during the postoperative
surgery, and it can be done with a conventional manual method or with
assistance from a femtosecond laser.
What are the Risks of Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) Surgery?
With RLE surgery there is a small chance of infection, bleeding, increased
eye pressure, glares at night, and potentially other risks that you should
discuss with your eye surgeon.
medications or procedures. Although it is rare, the risk of vision loss is
not zero with RLE surgery or any intraocular surgery.
help you eliminate reading glasses for most of your vision needs. Most RLE
patients do not need reading glasses after surgery.
example, threading needles or reading very small print up close for hours at
a time may still want to wear reading glasses for those tasks in order to
reduce eye strain.
consultation with your eye surgeon to determine if RLE surgery is the right
treatment for you.