Refractive Lens Exchange
The idea that youth is wasted on the young may be due for an upgrade. You may still love doing the same things you did 20 years ago, but feel like your eyes have stopped enjoying the same stuff. Here’s a chance to let them catch up to you again. A single lens, less than a millimeter thick, can restore easy, glasses-free vision so that you can focus on fulfilling your passions. You’ve lost that ability because of your natural lens’ aging; so set back the clock.
The design of this extraordinary lens that can cure your vision, and the procedure that makes it work, have earned the best compliment we can give to a piece of technology: it’s so advanced, it’s simple. 75 years of advancements forward in both lenses and cataract surgery have brought us to where we are today. The accuracy and ease of vision correction with a new lens, made possible for you in part by extremely complex laser algorithms and very fast computers, allow you to correct your vision by stopping cataracts before they start.
LASIK is exceptionally safe, and no, you didn’t end up back at the LASIK section of the website. However, if contextualization can help with clarification about safety, then you should know there’s a history to lens surgery about 300% longer than LASIK. With cataracts as ubiquitous as they are, you’ve got a lot friends that have gone before you in having cataract surgery that is identical to refractive lens exchange in the aspects of safety and protocol. Refractive lens exchange is the more precise — yet slightly easier — version of a remarkably safe procedure that 20 million people in the U.S. have had in the last 10 years.
Many of our patients are pleasantly surprised to find they can get out of reading glasses at all — let alone correct their distance vision to eliminate dependence on glasses altogether. If you’re wondering why RLE is for you, and the advantages it provides, we’ve got those answers and more.
While your life should be filled with excitement, your lens procedure should be less so. Our greatest wish for you, second only to wonderful vision, is that your journey through vision correction is predictable and anticlimactic. Even though this will be your first, and only, time through getting new lifelong lenses, it’s what we do 52 weeks a year. Let us guide you through the surprisingly underwhelming steps to get you started with the rest of your life.
RLE is more affordable than you think.
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When it comes to trusting the people who fix your eyes, you’d probably prefer medical expertise to genuine kindness. But our goal is to keep you from ever having to make that choice. See what to expect.
After a certain age, both near and distance vision need correction. While LASIK can do this, refractive lens exchange can be an even better option to provide clearer vision for a lifetime.
If you’ve never heard of Refractive Lens Exchange, you’ve got a solid excuse. Refractive Lens Exchange (generally called RLE, in an effort towards syllable conservation) didn’t exist as we know it until a few years ago. The technology to make it possible wasn’t available when you had your LASIK consult five years ago. The headlining news in that fact is that a large number of people who were told, “There’s no good option to give you near and distance vision without glasses,” can now be told there’s a really amazing option to do just that.
Before getting into the specifics of RLE, it’s important to get one underlying detail squared away. There are few things people value as highly as their vision. “New and exciting” can set off some alarm bells that sound a lot like “untested and risky,” and it should. Your eyes aren’t a good place to start being adventurous. That’s why it’s important to make this first point: the technology that makes RLE possible is new, but the risks for the surgery involved are the same as cataract surgery. In the United States, around 25 million cataract surgeries were done in the last decade. The methods of the procedure are uncommonly well-established as safe and effective. The recent leap forward in imaging software and artificial lens technology has only changed how precise and complete the improvement in vision can be when fixing the lens. It means we can now fine-tune the vision permanently before there is ever a cataract, and as an added result, it prevents a cataract from ever forming. RLE is designed for people whose natural reaction to that news is, “If a procedure exists now that can permanently fix my reading and distance vision by upgrading the lens inside my eye, why would I wait until I have a loss of vision from cataracts to do that?”
For folks who haven’t been able to see up close in a long time, the idea that near and distance vision can be corrected permanently “just like that” seems too good to be true. It has the same ring to it as advertisements for diet pills that make the weight just fall off even if you eat whatever foods you want. The difference in this case is the product of digging deeper into the science behind RLE — and seeing the results of well-controlled studies — is reassurance rather than disappointment. The wonderful thing about innovation like this is no matter how unrealistically good it seems, its value can be objectively proven (or disproven) if we push past the advertising, the hype, and the flashy websites. At Hunter Vision our surgeons take the time to explain the science and research behind RLE. That extra 20 minutes at the end of a consult can help our patients understand how a seemingly impossible outcome is, in fact, possible.
For our presbyopic friends who like the idea of a permanent fix for their vision almost as much as they hate the idea of spending time researching the science, the rest of this page should be all you need to get started on the journey. It’s a journey toward eyes that can do amazing things; that includes accomplishments like finally being able to read the menu in an authentic Italian restaurant. That is, assuming you know Italian.
While the time spent at Hunter Vision is personalized for each patient, the same overly-detailed modus operandi is implemented each and every time. First, a detailed medical history is taken with a particular focus on ocular history. This is done with a Hunter Vision ophthalmic technician instead of a clipboard and pen-on-a-chain, so that we can:
This is followed by several different methods of vision testing and advanced diagnostic imaging. Your information is then compiled, sorted, and interpreted by state-of-the-art computers designed to analyze the optics inside the eye. This analysis is done simultaneously by your surgeon, because each (computer and doctor) specialize in seeing features of the eye that the other cannot. After a complete discussion with your surgeon about what the current technology can (or, if waiting is the right choice, cannot) do to accomplish all goals for your vision, the surgery can be booked for whatever available time best suits your schedule. After that, all you have to do is show up to your scheduled procedure and let us take care of the rest.
The procedure takes about 10 minutes, is painless, and only requires that the patient lay on their back and look at a light.
To answer the two most common questions preemptively here:
1. Yes. Everyone blinks and it won’t cause a problem when you do, and
2. Yes. Everyone moves their eye some during the procedure and it won’t cause a problem when you do.
After obeying the doctor’s orders to go home and do something relaxing, a same-day or next-day visit usually reveals that the vision is dramatically improved. Nearly 100% of patients are able to read a newspaper at this visit. Starting from there, all that’s required is to live life and watch your vision get clearer with each day. (To be clear, the Hunter Vision interpretation of “live life” includes using prescribed eyedrops for a few weeks.) Those are the main details. If you decide you have any specific questions about one of the thousands of details that make the main event so uneventful, feel free to check in with us by phone or e-mail to set up a time to talk it through.