Similar to LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) and Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgeries are elective procedures designed to reduce or eliminate dependency on glasses or contact lenses. These procedures treat your nearsightedness, farsightedness, or presbyopia (near vision difficulty). Depending on the treatment, your natural human lens may be removed and replaced with an artificial lens implant or a supplemental lens implant may be used to optimize your vision. This is similar to what occurs during cataract surgery, when the cloudy human lens is replaced with an artificial lens re-establishing the clear focusing power of the eye.
Video: Presbyopia IOLs
Intraocular lens implants now can correct for presbyopia, the age-related condition that interferes with the ability to focus on close objects. These new multi-focal lenses are designed to provide a full range of vision, including distance, intermediate and near vision. Patients experience dramatic results with these implants, with most finding freedom from all glasses more than 85% of the time. Patients read standard print without glasses in all but the most extreme lighting conditions.
Presbyopia and Lens Implants
The lens of the eye is located behind the pupil. Its function is to focus light through the pupil and back to the retina so that we can see. The inherent power of the human lens largely determines the prescription of one’s eye and is partially responsible for making a patient myopic (nearsighted) or hyperopic (farsighted). In addition, the human lens can accommodate or flex to change its shape in order to focus at near and distant objects. Presbyopia describes the condition in which the human lens stiffens over time and causes difficulty reading for patients over 40 years old.
Multi-Focus lens implants are the implants of choice for patients with presbyopia wanting the greatest freedom from glasses for a full range of vision — so they can see distance and near objects simultaneously quite well in both eyes without glasses, in most cases.