Will Glasses and Contact Lenses Do or Is Refractive Lens Exchange the Answer?

Not everyone likes the idea of surgery. It is not a usual occurrence in someones life and its unfamiliarity can lead to hesitation. However, when it comes to something like the eyes, there is rarely any other recourse. Whether it is undergoing refractive lens exchange or Lasik laser surgery, the best solution is usually on the operating table.

As sight deteriorates slowly over time, it is difficult to judge how bad the condition is getting from the individuals perspective. It explains why so many people choose to continue using their eye glasses and contact lenses instead of having eye lens replacement procedures to fully deal with their eye sight problems. However, the techniques employed by ophthalmic surgeons are not only the most advanced in eye care yet, but they are proven to be completely safe and very effective. In fact, lens exchange procedures, which are simply referred to as RLE procedures, are so straight forward that they can be completed in just 20 minutes. Of course, manufacturers of glasses and contact lenses will point to the success they have enjoyed over the decades, as a sound reason to continue using their product. And while these claims cannot be ignored, a comparison between their solution to sight problems and the surgical solution points to only one true answer.

Eye Glasses

For centuries, eye glasses have been used to aid those with failing eye sight to see more effectively. The first pair of spectacles in Europe are said to have been invented in Italy in the 13th century. Of course, it was a crude form of what we now recognise as a fashion accessory as much as prescription items, designed to improve the vision of the wearer. The use of refractive lenses, fine tuned to the needs of the specific wearer through sophisticated eye tests certainly does make sight clearer. But, depending on whether single focal, bifocal or progressive lenses are used, these glasses may need to be changed to suit a given situation. The most obvious is changing glasses for reading, to provide detail on objects that are near, and for driving, to make clear objects at a distance. This inconvenience is added to by the need to clean the lenses regularly, the continual risk of damaging them through scratches and cracks, and even losing them.

Contact Lenses 1888 saw the very first modern contact lenses developed and worn directly over the cornea, but the first practical corneal lenses were invented in 1949. The problem with the earlier design was that they could only be tolerated by the wearer for a few hours. The latter design was wearable for 16 hours. It took a few decades for the lenses we are familiar with today to develop. However, the same problems still existed with numerous forms of eye irritation causing pain and discomfort for wearers. And while the latest designs may not need to be replaced for months at a time, there remains a need for solutions to be used to present dry eyes from developing. Without doubt, sight is improved very effectively, but there is no getting away from the fact that contact lenses are also temporary solutions to developing eye problems. Myopia and hyperopia are both countered, just as with eye glasses, but the conditions still exist. Refractive Lens Surgery The key difference between the surgical option and the alternatives above is simply that the eye problem is dealt with permanently. It is not countered by a corrective pane of glass in front of the eyes, or contact lens covering the cornea. Instead, the vision of the patient is permanently corrected, making glasses and contact lenses unnecessary. This can be done in two ways, namely through laser surgeries like Lasik and Lasek, which effectively restructure the cornea, or through refractive lens exchange surgery which replaces the flawed lens with an intraocular lens. While both the laser and the eye lens replacement procedures are fast, taking little more than 20 minutes per eye, what is most important is that through RLE procedures the sight of the patient is restored almost to perfection permanently. Glasses and contact lenses may paper over the problems, making them little more than partial solutions that, in effect, offer reminders to wearers of their own vision limitations.

Kate Dawson writes articles about Clarivu, a refractive lens exchange procedure. RLE involves replacing the lens of the eye with a synthetic lens that counteracts any long or short sightedness. The eye lens replacement procedure is quick, often only taking 20 minutes per eye.