Custom Lens Replacement vs. Refractive Lens Exchange: Is There a Difference

November 21, 2022 | Ask The Docs

For visual changes brought on by aging in your eye's natural lens, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), sometimes referred to as Custom Lens Replacement (CLR), offers a precise and long-lasting solution. What is the difference between the two procedures? Nothing but the names. RLE is like turning back the hands of time, according to those who have had it done. It gives you a more youthful field of vision while preventing cataracts in the future.

People who want to repair and enhance their vision without the use of contacts or glasses and avoid the necessity for cataract surgery are becoming more and more interested in Refractive Lens Exchange. 43Vision is committed to transforming lives by providing people with the gift of better vision. We want to improve your ability to perceive the world clearly. To schedule a consultation and find out if you qualify for any of our life-changing procedures, call our office today.

Refractive Lens Exchange: What Is It?

Both the terms refractive lens exchange and custom lens replacement apply to the same procedure. The natural lens of the eye is replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL) during a Custom Lens Replacement procedure, also known as RLE, to restore vision and eliminate refractive errors. A defect in the shape of the eye that prevents light from correctly focusing on the retina is referred to as a refractive error. This vision loss may be brought on by cataracts, astigmatism, presbyopia, nearsightedness (myopia), or farsightedness (hyperopia). Not only is vision significantly better after intraocular lens implantation with RLE, but the benefits are also favorable and long-lasting.

RLE technology, also known as CLR, is currently the most effective and safe it has ever been and is being used successfully all over the world. Patients who have had vision correction thanks to RLE experience a new level of visual freedom. Many people decide to have RLE performed before cataracts have an opportunity to develop, and with an accommodating, multifocal IOL, toric lens, or array multifocal lens, your improvements in visual acuity will be dramatic. You don't need to let bad vision keep you from leading the life you've always wanted. 43Vision is here to provide you with the freedom to see life more clearly while also assisting you in improving the quality of your vision.

FAQ's about Custom Lens Replacement vs. Refractive Lens Exchange

Following a Refractive Lens Exchange, will I require glasses?

Several factors will influence whether you decide to wear glasses full-time, part-time (like reading glasses), or not at all. These factors include general eye health, the degree of astigmatism, your current eyeglass prescription, the type of intraocular lens IOL you choose (multifocal intraocular lens, accommodating intraocular lenses, toric lenses, monofocal IOL, etc), and your visual requirements.

Regardless of the type of artificial intraocular lens implanted, you might occasionally need to wear some type of corrective lens. But with the correct IOLs, you can greatly enhance your vision and lessen or even do away with the need for glasses. You can select the IOL that most closely suits your visual needs and way of life with the aid of a skilled eye surgeon.

What distinguishes a Custom Lens Replacement from a Refractive Lens Exchange?

Custom Lens Replacement (CLR) and Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) are two alternative names for the same treatment. The procedures are also sometimes even referred to as a clear lens exchange or clear lens extraction. No matter which name you decide to call it, the process of removing the natural lens that the eye uses to refract light and replacing it with an artificial lens to improve visual perception is the same for these procedures.

How long does it take for a Refractive Lens Exchange procedure?

Patients should plan on spending two to three hours in the office on the day of their RLE procedure. We will do some of the same tests carried out during your comprehensive consultation before beginning the procedure in order to give your eye surgeon the most accurate evaluation of your vision that is possible.

On the day of surgery, we'll spend most of our time getting you ready and responding to any last-minute questions you might have. The actual procedure only lasts 15 to 30 minutes. The visual freedom and independence our 43Vision patients experience after custom lens replacement are remarkable.

Is there a treatment for presbyopia using refractive lens exchange?

In America, more than 100 million individuals suffer from presbyopia. Presbyopia is one of the most common age-related eye conditions that can occur with or without nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. It is challenging to read, complete paperwork, or operate on a computer screen when you have presbyopia. In order to combat presbyopia, many people turn to reading glasses, but they soon get weary of the constant battle to see details up close.

Refractive Lens Exchange can effectively treat presbyopia. Using a multifocal lens, a custom lens implant can correct both near and far vision. Presbyopia is best managed by replacing both lenses, through custom lens replacement, in one or both eyes. If you're unsure about whether RLE is the ideal operation for you, our highly trained experts at 43Vision would be pleased to assist you. To arrange your consultation and find out if you'd be an eligible candidate for RLE, call our office today.

Can a Refractive Lens Exchange "wear off?"

A Refractive Lens Exchange (custom lens replacement) uses intraocular lenses that are designed to last a lifetime. An intraocular lens never needs to be replaced and does not degrade over time like a traditional contact lens. By carefully following their surgeon's post-procedure recommendations, patients can help protect their IOLs.

Does Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome benefit from Refractive Lens Exchange?

Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome (DLS) is the gradual loss of eyesight caused by the natural lens in your eye. Your natural lens is translucent and flexible when you are born. Light can pass through your eye because of its transparency without causing glare, light dispersion, or blurred vision. Because of its versatility, the lens may change its form and focus, letting you see objects from a distance as well as up close. Your lens gradually becomes cloudier and less flexible as you age.

Refractive Lens Exchange can treat DLS. You can see clearly since the new intraocular lens is translucent and allows light to pass through. Modern intraocular lens implants may be accommodating, multifocal, or toric (correcting astigmatism) in order to assist with focusing. Many patients with accommodative intraocular lenses or multifocal implants for near- and far-sightedness do not have to wear glasses. Since it can heal many of the problems of DLS, custom lens replacement is one of the wonders of modern medicine.

How painful is Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) surgery?

RLE is a safe and painless surgical procedure. Prior to the treatment, the patient will receive a local anesthetic eye drop to ensure they won't experience any pain. As the anesthesia wears off, patients frequently experience brief, mild discomfort. In the days following a lens replacement treatment, it is common for patients to experience some minor discomfort or itching around the eye, but this normally goes away in a few days. The majority of the time, over-the-counter medications are more than sufficient to alleviate any discomfort the patient may experience.

Are you awake during the Custom Lens Replacement?

During a Custom Lens Replacement, you will be awake, but you will recieve oral medication to help you relax, and your eye surgeon will oversee every step of the process. The 43Vision team will make sure you are at ease and comfortable before, during, and after your procedure while you are in our office.

After a Refractive Lens Exchange, when can I resume exercise?

You can resume your regular daily activities on the day after surgery. We advise that you begin light exercise three days after the procedure and resume vigorous exercise one week later to give your eyes time to acclimate. You can go back to swimming a week following treatment, but we recommend wearing goggles to protect your eyes from the chlorine's stinging effects. After four weeks, you can swim without any restrictions. By following the post-procedure instructions, eyes can heal properly, thus optimizing refractive lens exchange results.

Is Cataract Surgery the same as Refractive Lens Exchange?

RLE and contemporary cataract surgery are very similar procedures. In both procedures, the natural lens of the eye is replaced with a synthetic lens that is inserted through a tiny incision.

A custom lens refractive procedure is performed to reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses. Contrarily, standard cataract surgery is typically done to address any blurring or light diffraction brought on by a hazy natural lens, or cataract.

Does insurance cover Custom Lens Replacement?

Since a refractive lens exchange is seen as an elective treatment, most medical insurance plans do not cover the cost of the procedure. For a cataract surgery most medical insurance plans typically don’t cover premium lens technology that is often used in refractive lens exchange, most often the lenses that are covered by insurance are not able to fix astigmatism or presbyopia.

Is Refractive Lens Exchange the same as LASIK?

The cornea of the patient is not cut or reshaped during an RLE procedure. The patient's natural crystalline lens, which is located behind the colored portion of the eye known as the iris, is removed and changed out with a biocompatible artificial lens rather than having tissue from the cornea removed.

Let 43Vision Help You See Life Clearly

At 43Vision, we think it's easier to fully appreciate each moment as it unfolds when you don't wear glasses or contacts. Our eye doctors would love to meet you to see if Custom Lens Replacement can be the correct answer to help you live without the restrictions of glasses or contacts so that you can take advantage of everything life has to offer. Refractive Lens Exchange is frequently advised for patients who are not candidates for laser vision correction or other types of refractive surgery. To find out more information and see if CLR is the best option for you, call our office to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.

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