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LASIK vs Refractive Lens Exchange(RLE)

LASIK vs Refractive Lens Exchange(RLE)

20 Feb 2020

A recent study reveals that over 36 million people in the world cannot see and another 216 million suffer from moderate to severe visual impairment. In addition to that, 188 million others have mild impairment with their vision.

On the positive side, thanks to ever-evolving technology, there is no longer any need to lead a life with nearsightedness or clouded vision. There are a number 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:

  • RLE or refractive lens exchange

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 or cure the 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 many cases, it completely eliminates the need for glasses and contact lenses.

By and large, LASIK is an elective surgery and is not covered by health insurance plans.

Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE

There are many aged adults who never had to wear glasses but now need reading glasses to make their way through the newspaper smoothly. The majority of these people think that LASIK is their only option. But a large number of people around the age of 40 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 with a man-made intraocular lens or IOL. This treatment is suitable for patients that experience vision changes because of the natural ageing of their eyes.

Surgeries for lens replacement are much more similar to that of cataracts. The difference lies in the fact that RLE replaces a clear lens while the cataract surgery replaces a lens that has 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 doctor. The qualified professional will consider all the relevant aspects to give you the most suitable solution.