Understanding refractive lens exchange treatment

Eye conditions can interfere with an individual’s daily life in serious ways. A person who always has to wear eyeglasses when doing even the smallest tasks may not enjoy life as he or she would want to. It is among the reasons for most people to seek alternative treatment to correct their refractive eye condition.

There are different solutions for refractive errors that work very well. For someone suffering from high myopia, high hyperopia or presbyopia, one of the best treatments available is refractive lens exchange. Speak to your eye doctor in London from an established practice, such as Eye Clinic London, to find out if you qualify for the treatment.

The Basics

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) is a surgical procedure that replaces the eye’s natural clear yet ineffective lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular one. This replacement lens provides a sharper focus, which means that there is no need for glasses. RLE is not a treatment for everyone, though. Individuals who do not qualify for LASIK or Phakic Intraocular Lens (IOL) can consider RLE as an option. The treatment is also suitable for people with severe cases of both hyperopia and presbyopia.

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When getting refractive lens exchange, there are three types of intraocular lenses available; Monofocal fixed-focus, accommodating, and multifocal IOLs. With monofocal fixed-focus IOLs, a patient gets a clear vision for distance or near but not both. In comparison, multifocal IOLs provide clear vision at multiple distances. With accommodating IOLs, the lens shifts in the eye to provide a sharper focus at multiple distances. An eye doctor has to carefully conduct examinations on a patient to determine which lenses are most appropriate to correct a particular refractive error.

Getting the treatment right

Refractive lens exchange is a procedure that takes about 15 minutes for each eye. Once you have found an eye surgeon in London to work with, schedule a date for the procedure. One of the biggest merits is that it takes only a short time to recover from the surgery–about 2 weeks. You will notice a significant difference in vision immediately after surgery. Proper care is necessary to facilitate healing, and your eye doctor will provide the necessary post-op instructions.

After refractive lens exchange, it is paramount to get eye checks after a specific period. Find out how long you have to wait until you can return to the clinic for a follow-up check. The cost of refractive lens exchange will depend on the specialist. However, your medical insurance may not cover RLE, so it is crucial to arrange for financing once you decide to get the treatment.



  • The pros and cons of clear lens exchange, OptometryTimes.ModernMedicine.com
  • Refractive Lens Exchange, AllAboutVision.com


About the expert

Mr Samer Hamada | Consultant Ophthalmologist and Corneal Surgeon

MD, MSc, DO (hons), FRCSEd, FRCOphth

I am Samer Hamada, founder and consultant ophthalmic surgeon with over 20 years’ experience in ophthalmology. I am a world-renowned specialist in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. I’m not only a leading surgeon but also the only dual fellowship trained in corneal diseases in children from reputable institutions in the UK.

At Eye Clinic London I work closely with other consultant ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists to achieve the best outcomes for our patients. Our main aim is to make sure our patients get the safest and best treatments available to them. We put your safety before anything else so you can rest assured that if you choose us you will be in the best and safest hands.

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