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Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange
Also Known as Clear Lens Exchange
Also Known as Presbyopic Correcting IOL Exchange

Advancements in cataract surgery have led to new technology with lens replacement surgery designed to correct refractive error. As a result refractive lens extraction is very similar to cataract surgery but has multiple benefits that extend beyond. This is a surgical procedure intended to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts for people over the age of 50, who may be experiencing new visual challenges. Refractive Lens Exchange also commonly called RLE, can be used to correct presbyopia, nearsightedness or farsightedness.

For individuals over 50 who are considering refractive surgery to decrease dependence on glasses and contact lenses, refractive lens extraction (RLE) is an excellent option worthy of serious consideration. Like cataract surgery, this procedure involves removing the natural lens of the eye and replacing it with an intraocular lens (IOL) implant, a multifocal IOL implant, a toric IOL, or an accommodating IOL. Please consult directly with our doctors to determine what IOL is right for you and your unique vision.

Other types of refractive surgery, such as LASIK laser vision correction, accomplish good vision by changing the shape of your cornea. Unlike these other refractive procedures that change the shape of the cornea, RLE corrects vision by removing the natural lens in the eye and replacing it with a new artificial lens of different focusing power. This is exactly the same process used during cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is currently one of the top procedures reimbursed by Medicare and millions of cataracts are removed every year.

For a description of the actual RLE surgical process and explanation of phacoemulsification used in cataract surgery please SEE the section on cataract surgery or click here.

Refractive Lens Exchange Advantages

  • Very fast recovery
  • Predictability of outcome,
  • Excellent quality of vision



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At EyeHealth Northwest, our Opticians are committed to helping you get the best pair of glasses you have ever had. Opticians are Nationally Certified by the American Board of Opticianry and participate in ongoing continue education courses to deliver the best possible care with the most advanced technology and fashion. We can take stress out of the process, making it enjoyable for you and your family.

With more than 60 years of experience in Portland, we are now driving the Portland look by designing and curating original frame collections based on our optical expertise - Bridge City Spex. We understand the importance of individuality, functionality, and quality. The Bridge City Spex Collections can be found exclusively at our eleven EyeHealth Northwest optical shops.