Herzig Eye Institute in Refractive Surgery on July 26, 2016

Most people when they’re considering surgical treatment to eliminate their dependence on glasses only consider laser vision correction(LVC), either SMILE, LASIK, or PRK. However, with patients over 45 and sometimes younger, the procedure that provides better visual quality and a more permanent result is not LVC but rather Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE).

RLE is the procedure whereby the natural lens in the eye is exchanged for an intraocular lens (IOL). This is the same operation that is done when a person has a cataract when their natural lens has become cloudy. By the age of 45, the natural lens has lost its ability to accommodate so that reading vision becomes difficult or impossible. Especially if a person is farsighted so that both their reading and distance is impaired, it quite often makes more sense to replace the natural lens with a better one, the IOL.

LVC can provide both distance and reading vision for both near- and farsighted patients with monovision, i.e., one eye corrected for distance and one eye for reading. While this works very nicely for most, RLE opens up the option of using the Symfony IOL (my favorite) or a Multifocal IOL to replace the dysfunctional natural lens and thereby provide good distance and reading vision in both eyes.

Let me give you an example:

Lynda is enjoying her retirement – as if she was 20 years old again!

That wasn’t the case a year ago, when Lynda, 67, was still a slave to her eyeglasses. She used to have a pair of glasses in almost every room of her house. “I had glasses on my head, around my neck, and of course, prescription sunglasses,” she said. “I even had a bag just for glasses that I used to take with me when I traveled!”

Things had been that way for a long time. It was a frustrating lifestyle, and one that she was eager to change.

Lynda’s interest in vision correction was piqued by the Herzig Eye Institute ads on television. She did a little investigating, and decided to book a consultation to find out what options existed. When told she was a candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange, her answer was an emphatic “Go for it!”

The results have amazed her. “It’s as if someone turned on a light and I can see the way I used to.” And since her eyes’ natural lenses have been replaced, she no longer has to worry about developing cataracts. So impressive were the results that a month after Lynda’s surgery, her sister had the procedure too.

“It’s like I’m 20 years old again!”

Lynda now has 20/20 vision. She’s able to knit, paint, play tennis and golf like she did in her youth – all without the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. “It’s become very real to me how we take our vision for granted.”

Now the only problem is deciding what to do with all her glasses.

Determining which option is best for any given patient requires a comprehensive eye examination and discussion with the surgeon to understand the pros and cons of each procedure. One size doesn’t fit all. It’s important to choose the right procedure for the right patient.