Refractive Lens Exchange: See the World Better and See Yourself Better
Dr. Alison Tendler discusses the benefits of a refractive lens exchange and how this procedure can lead to a full, productive life beyond the confines of corrective lenses.
If you are over 40, you have likely noticed that seeing close-up or reading small, fine print may not be as easy as it once was. The lenses in our eyes serve an essential purpose to our vision. The lenses of the eye work in collaboration with the cornea, or the front part of the eye, to focus light to the retina. When we are young, the lens of the eye is flexible; it can adjust to accommodate seeing near, middle, and far distances. However, as we age the lens in our eye loses some of its flexibility. As a result of the loss of flexibility, it becomes more difficult to shift focus from near to far. Many find that it becomes quite difficult to focus on close objects. Because of this, it can be difficult to read small print, and it can take more visual effort to do activities like reading or drawing. This difficulty focusing at close range is known as presbyopia. If you notice small print becoming blurry, or you find yourself needing to hold items further away to focus when reading, you have trouble seeing in dim light, or your eyes hurt or you develop a headache when you try to read or focus on small, detailed tasks, you may be experiencing presbyopia.
One of the ways most people combat presbyopia is by wearing reading glasses. Often known as cheaters or readers, they are typically purchased over-the-counter or by prescription from a qualified eye-care professional. Reading glasses are essentially magnification lenses that increase the size of the print so that individuals who struggle with small print are able to read more clearly. However, dependence on reading glasses can be a nuisance. From having to consistently have readers available to putting them on and taking them off when switching from near to distance vision, readers can be inconvenient. It can also be difficult for a person to find the exact magnification that works best, and often this magnification, or power, must be increased steadily over time, which can result in increased financial strain.
Fortunately, Dr. Alison R. Tendler, ophthalmologist and owner of ART Vision in Sioux Falls, SD offers several options that can minimize the need for reading glasses on a consistent basis. A refractive lens exchange (RLE) involves the removal of the eye’s natural lens and replacement with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant. This vision correction method is particularly helpful for patients who struggle with presbyopia, but it is also a wonderful vision correction option for patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism. An RLE provides a long-term solution to vision issues and will minimize the need for reading glasses or other corrective lenses. The process of an RLE is very similar to the removal of a cataract, but is done for vision correction. However, because the eye’s natural lens is removed, it is also impossible to develop a cataract after this surgery! This is best for patients who are over the age of 50, have not developed a cataract or have minimal cataract development, desire clearer vision, and are seeking to gain independence from glasses or contacts at multiple distances. Other vision correction options, such as refractive cataract surgery, exist for patients of different age ranges or varying corneal or lens conditions.
An RLE is a quick, safe, and effective vision correction procedure. Dr. Tendler performs this and other surgical procedures in the comfort and convenience of the in-office surgical suites at ART Vision. After this procedure, you will find that you have decreased dependence on corrective lenses, improved quality of vision, and an improved quality of life for years to come. Contact the team at ART Vision to schedule a consultation today to determine if you are a candidate for one of the many vision correction procedures available, so you can See the World Better and See Yourself Better.
Originally published by Empire Lifestyle Magazine February 2021.