Have you ever wondered what options you have to correct your vision after the age of 50? If so, this week’s blog is just for you!
Many think of LASIK and other vision correction procedures being only for patients in their 20s or 30s. The reason for this misconception is likely related to the aging changes that occur to our natural crystalline lens as we get into our 40s. Presbyopia sets in during this stage of our life...people who have never worn glasses before are all of the sudden needing readers to help with them look at their phone or computer. Those who wear glasses are getting their first bifocals.
By the age of 50, presbyopia is in full effect. This is a great time to consider RLE, refractive lens exchange, to correct one’s vision. With RLE, we replace the aging lens with a lens implant that cannot only improve a person’s distance vision without glasses, but it can also provide reading vision. The lens implant can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia. After a discussion with the patient, the doctor can recommend a lens implant to best meet one’s needs after the surgery.
With RLE, the surgeon will typically do the two eyes one week apart. You can return to most normal activities including work that day after the surgery. Just like with any surgery, there is a healing process during which you will experience some mild fluctuation in your vision. You will be placed on both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops for a few weeks after the surgery to aid in the healing process. After this brief healing phase, you will experience the lifestyle benefit of improved vision without the dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
An added benefit of RLE is that by removing the natural lens, you will not need cataract surgery in the future.
To determine if RLE is right for you, the next step is a surgical consultation. This visit will consist of many of the typical tests that you undergo during a regular eye exam. There will also be a more advanced analysis of your eye and your vision. The doctor will then discuss what options are available and make a recommendation. This recommendation is based on your unique eyes and your unique visual demands and goals.