LASIK Vision Correction Vs. Refractive Lens Exchange: Benefits of Both

Posted on Thursday, September 29th, 2022 by Dr. Binoy Jani

Eye Exams Fredericksburg Virginia

If you are tired of wearing glasses and contacts to compensate for a refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia), you’ve probably heard of LASIK as a permanent way to correct your refractive error and eliminate the need for visual aids. But there is another less commonly known treatment option: refractive lens exchange (RLE).

Both LASIK and refractive lens exchange are safe, effective solutions that yield excellent outcomes. Each procedure is relatively quick, and recovery is swift. However, LASIK and RLE take two very different approaches: LASIK uses a laser to reshape the corneal tissues, improving the eye’s focusing power and offsetting refractive errors. RLE involves removing and replacing the eye’s natural lens to improve focusing power.

Though the results are comparable, each procedure has its own set of unique benefits. Read on as the Vista Eye Specialists team walks you through the advantages of LASIK and RLE.

Benefits of LASIK Vision Correction

LASIK vision correction offers immediate vision improvement for both eyes on the same day. The quick procedure corrects the cornea’s curvature to improve vision in minutes. LASIK costs less overall when compared to refractive lens exchange and offers a rapid recovery.

Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange

Accessible to patients who may not qualify for LASIK

Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK. Individuals with prescriptions that fall outside of a pre-determined range and individuals with certain anatomical characteristics (e.g., very thin corneas) are discouraged from having LASIK vision correction.

Prevents cataracts later in life

By replacing the natural lens with an artificial lens, RLE prevents the possibility of cataracts later in life. Unlike natural lenses, artificial lenses cannot develop cataracts (clouding that interferes with the eye’s focusing power). Therefore, RLE is sometimes regarded as killing two birds with one stone because it corrects refractive errors and prevents cataracts later in life.

Find the Treatment That’s Right for You

Both LASIK and RLE have high patient success and satisfaction rates. To determine the option that best fits your visual needs and lifestyle, the team at Vista Eye Specialists Virginia encourages you to see us for a personal consultation. We can evaluate your unique eyes, discuss your treatment goals and clarify whether LASIK or RLE is the wisest choice. Contact us today to request an appointment!