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LASIK vs Refractive Lens Exchange(RLE)

LASIK vs Refractive Lens Exchange(RLE)

20 Feb 2020

A recent study reveals that more than one billion people worldwide need eyeglasses, many of whom do not have access to vision correction. Furthermore, three out of every four adults require glasses or contacts

On the positive side, thanks to ever-evolving technology, there is no longer any need to lead a life with nearsightedness or long sightedness. There are numbers of safe and effective vision-correction treatments or procedures available, assures an ophthalmic surgeon in London.

Two most reliable invasive procedures to correct refractive errors are:

  • Refractive laser correction ,most common form is LASIK
  • and refractive lens replacement surgery also called RLE

LASIK eye surgery – an introduction

As one of the most popular types of laser eye surgery procedure, LASIK hardly needs any introduction. LASIK is the shortened form of Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis. As it is obvious from the name itself, the procedure makes use of the laser ray to reshape the cornea to fix refractive errors.

LASIK benefits a large number of patients including those suffering from farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. Successful LASIK eye surgeries reduce your dependency on glasses and contact lenses. In the majority of cases, it completely eliminates the need for glasses and contact lenses.

As you may know, LASIK is an elective surgery and is not covered by health insurance plans.

Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE

Many individual adults enjoy perfect vision until their mid 40s when they require reading glasses. These adults who never had to wear glasses require reading glasses now to make their way through daily activities like the newspaper or computer. The majority of these people think that LASIK is their only option but, a large number of people around the age of 47 and above are found to be unqualified for LASIK surgery.

RLE or refractive lens exchange is a procedure that replaces the natural lens of your eye permanently with an implants lens or IOL. This treatment is suitable for patients that experience vision changes because of the natural ageing of their eyes.

Lens replacement surgery is much more similar to that of a cataract. The difference lies in the fact that RLE replaces a clear lens while the cataract surgery replaces a lens that has already turned obscure or cloudy due to the formation of cataract.


While deciding on your lens replacement surgery, make sure to have a broad discussion with an ophthalmic surgeon. The qualified professional will consider all the relevant aspects to give you the most suitable solution.

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Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL Surgery

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