Natural Lens Replacement Surgery is also referred to as Refractive Lens Exchange, Clear Lens Extraction, Clear Lens Exchange, or Presbyopic Lens Exchange (PRELEX).
This type of elective eye surgery is a practical option for many older people and younger people in some circumstances. In Natural Lens Replacement eye surgery, your eye's natural lens is replaced with an artificial one to achieve sharper focus.
In order for your eyes to see clearly, the lens inside the eye must be clear and have the appropriate optical focusing power (prescription). If you are short-sighted or long-sighted, your lens does not have the correct optical power.
For patients with high refractive errors, outside the range treatable of laser eye surgery, Natural Lens Exchange may reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. This procedure is nearly identical to cataract surgery, the only difference being that cataract surgery removes a cloudy lens rather than a clear one. The accuracy in obtaining the desired improvement is quite high.
If a traditional intraocular lens is used, single distance vision can be corrected, but reading glasses would be needed. If a premium multifocal lens implant is used, reading glasses may be needed infrequently. Some patients may opt for monovision, where one eye is corrected for distance and the other for close up. It is important for a patient to determine his or her particular visual needs and preferences. There are several choices available. Common preferences include:
Near Vision: Some people prefer to read without spectacles, which typically results in the need to wear spectacles for good intermediate and distance vision. These patients do well if we implant lenses in both eyes that leave the patient with about -2.00 Diopters of nearsightedness.
Distance Vision: Some patients choose to see sharp for distance and do not mind wearing spectacles for near tasks.
Monovision: Others choose monovision, which is correcting one eye for the distance, and the other eye for near vision.
All Distances: The fourth group emphasizes their desire for functional vision at both distance and near. To meet the needs of this group premium multifocal lens implants are available.
People who are middle-aged or older may have the beginnings of cataracts that eventually could worsen and cloud the eye's natural lens. In time, these cataracts could become advanced enough to require cataract surgery and replacement of the eye's clouded lens with an artificial or intraocular lens.
If you have early cataracts, you could choose to have a refractive lens exchange instead of waiting for the cataracts to advance enough to require cataract surgery. Premium lens implants likely can provide significantly better uncorrected vision at that point, especially if you now require vision correction with glasses or contact lenses.
Presbyopia affects all of us beginning at around age 40, when our eye's natural lens grows more rigid and loses the ability to focus at all distances (accommodation). It becomes increasingly difficult to focus during close-up activities such as reading, and one has to hold objects further away to see them clearly. If your vision is deteriorating due to presbyopia, Presbyopic Lens Exchange (PRELEX) can help through the exchange of your natural lens for a multifocal lens to improve your ability to focus.
Refractive laser procedures (LASIK) that change the focusing power of the eye by making changes to the cornea are most effective in younger eyes, where the lens can still accommodate its focusing power. A major appeal of Natural Lens Replacement is represented in the newer accommodating or multifocal intraocular lenses, traditionally used in cataract surgery., These premium lens implants offer the ability to restore distance vision as well as improve near vision that enables functions such as computer use and reading for aging eyes.
LASIK is is a highly successful surgical procedure that uses a laser to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism. However, for extreme farsightedness (hyperopia) higher than +6.00 diopters, LASIK generally is not recommended, making Natural Lens Replacement a possible option.
For further information, please call our office at 01292 282100 with any questions or to arrange an evaluation for treatment.