LASIK vs. RLE: Is One Better Than the Other?
LASIK surgery has long been the frontrunner when it comes to vision permanent vision correction. However, LASIK isn’t the only option out there for people looking for freedom from their glasses and contact lenses! So, is LASIK really the best option? What about Refractive Lens Exchange? Is one better than the other? Let’s dive into how these procedures work and the major difference between the two.
What is LASIK?
LASIK (Laser in-situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that clears vision by reshaping the cornea. LASIK surgery corrects myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism by permanently reshaping the surface of the eye. Reshaping the eye allows the cornea to properly bend and focus light onto the retina.
What is Refractive Lens Exchange?
Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is a procedure that replaces the eye’s natural lens with a new intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL that replaces the lens contains refractive power that changes the way you see. Refractive Lens Exchange can correct myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and even presbyopia.
The RLE procedure is essentially like cataract surgery. The natural lens is removed and replaced with an IOL of your choosing. RLE is safe and effective, and means that you won’t need cataract surgery later in life (because your natural lens is gone!) RLE delivers results very similar to LASIK with an equally easy recovery period.
Which One Is Better?
Well, the simple answer to that is: it depends. Both procedures are highly effective, safe and simple. However, one procedure may be better for you than the other. This varies greatly on your overall health, your eyes, your vision needs and more.
LASIK surgery may be better for you if your eyes are healthy and able to undergo cornea surgery. LASIK surgery is quick, painless and highly effective. When LASIK is an option, procedures like RLE are rarely considered.
RLE is most often performed on people who were not candidates for LASIK surgery. RLE is especially good for those who have unstable corneas and would not be able to tolerate the change in corneal shape. Also, RLE can correct high levels of myopia and hyperopia that may not be corrected through LASIK surgery. RLE provides stable vision without risk of regression (meaning you will probably rely less on reading glasses.)
Which one is best for you? The only way to find out for sure is to schedule a LASIK consultation here at Nielsen Eye Center. Our vision correction experts here in Quincy, MA are here to help you find the perfect procedure for you. Contact us by calling 617.471.5665 or make your appointment online!