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Procedures for Reading Vision - Refractive Lens Exchange

While LASIK corrects refractive errors of the cornea, a refractive lens exchange replaces the natural lens of your eye with an appropriately-powered lens that can allow for clear vision at a distance and near. This surgery is typically reserved for patients over 45 whose natural lens has become less flexible, losing the ability to focus close, such as when reading. However, it may also be an option for people with extreme levels of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism who are not good candidates for LASIK or ICLs.

What is Refractive Lens Exchange to Correct Reading Vision?

Refractive lens exchange is essentially cataract surgery with an intraocular lens implant to decrease dependence on glasses and contacts. The entire procedure is completed in about 10 to 15 minutes, and visual recovery is rapid. LASIK can be used after surgery to fine tune results when necessary. Patients who have had this surgery will never need to undergo cataract surgery in the future.

Can My Reading Vision be Improved with Refractive Lens Exchange?

If you have trouble reading, it is often due to a natural hardening of the lens due to age. When young, you may have been able to read without reading glasses. It was because the lenses in your eyes could easily flex to focus on objects near and far. With a minor eye surgery, this problem can be resolved, leaving you with crisp, clear reading vision without glasses or contacts.

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What Types of IOLs Can Be Used for Reading Vision Correction?

Several different types of IOLs may be used in this procedure:

  • Traditional IOLs treat a wide range of vision problems from high nearsightedness to high farsightedness. These lenses do not correct astigmatism or accommodate to restore partial reading vision.
  • Toric IOLs treat a wide range of vision problems from high nearsightedness to high farsightedness, but also have the benefit of treating astigmatism at the same time.
  • Accommodating and multifocal IOLs are designed to provide clear vision far away, up close, and in between, typically without the need for glasses or contacts. We utilize all the lenses currently approved by the FDA, which include ReSTOR, Tecnis MF, Crystalens, and others. The IOLs are custom matched to suit the needs of individual person.

How Does Refractive Lens Exchange Work?

Refractive lens exchange is a fully-customized procedure. It involves replacing the natural eye lens with a synthetic lens, just as what would occur in cataract surgery – but many people undergoing the procedure have not yet developed cataracts. After this surgery there will never be a need to have cataract surgery, as they do not form on synthetic lenses. The basics of the treatment is simply the careful and exacting removal of the natural lens, after which a synthetic lens is placed to restore vision, near and far.

Am I a Candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange Surgery?

This procedure is ideal for those who have the following vision problems:

  • You are over 45 years old and are having trouble focusing on objects up close, or to read without reading glasses.
  • You do not qualify for LASIK due to being either too farsighted or too nearsighted.
  • You wear progressive lenses in your glasses and are looking for a procedure that will provide accurate vision with minimal dependance on eyewear.
  • You experience poor night vision, your depth perception is impaired, and you are noticing color distortions in your vision due to lens changes associated with cataracts.

Why Choose Pacific Vision Institute in San Francisco?

At Pacific Vision Institute, our goal is to help you resolve your vision problems. We offer the most advanced treatments available worldwide. The first step is to meet with our team. We are recognized as being among the finest vision correction clinics in the world, the place where other eye doctors choose to come for their treatment.

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