Lens replacement suitability criteria
You may be suitable for lens replacement if you:
- Are 50 years or over (although exceptions to this may be considered depending on individual circumstances)
- Have a spectacle prescription for distance or near vision, or both
- Wish to reduce or eliminate your dependency on glasses or contact lenses
How lens replacement works
Each eye has a natural lens. For us to see clearly, the lens has to be clear and have the appropriate focusing optical power (prescription). If you are short or long-sighted or have astigmatism, your eye does not have the correct optical power. Spectacles or contact lenses can correct this, or you can also have your natural lens exchanged for an artificial lens to correct your refractive error or presbyopia.
Lens replacement has an advantage over laser eye surgery as it can give a permanent solution with unaided distance and near vision. Lens replacement is also sometimes called:
- Presbyopic Lens Exchange (Prelex)
- Refractive Lens Exchange
- Clear Lens Extraction
An additional benefit of lens correction for presbyopia is that you won’t have to worry about developing cataracts later in life.
Over the past few years, technology has improved and now there are a variety of premium lens implants. Depending on your lifestyle, spectacle prescription and preferences, I will select the best lens implant for you.
Lens replacement is designed to reduce your dependency on spectacles and contact lenses. However, some people find that reading small print or seeing things very close can be a little challenging. This is corrected by reading glasses for these specific activities.
Some people can be aware that reading in dim light can be more difficult.
You can experience glares and halos around lights after dark, which can make driving at night more difficult. This often improves over time as you “neuro-adapt” to the lenses.
Lens replacement risks
Any surgical procedure carries an element of risk. I will discuss these with you in detail at your appointment.
Options and alternatives
I can use different types of artificial lenses to correct your vision.
- Extended depth of focus lenses (EDOF) – Used to provide improved intermediate vision such as working at the computer.
- Multifocal lenses – Used to provide the widest “range” to the vision for distance, intermediate and near activities.
- Toric lenses – These can correct and reduce your astigmatism.
I must discuss the potential options with you to provide you with the most appropriate solution that will achieve your goals.
Lens replacement steps
- A high frequency ultrasound probe is inserted into the eye through a tiny incision. The probe “mines” out the natural lens.
- A clear plastic artificial lens is folded up and inserted into the eye through the same tiny incision.
- The lens unfolds within the eye to lie in the same position as the old lens.
- The strength of the implant is calculated before the operation to ensure that it will suit your eye.
- The tiny incision in the eye seals without the need for stitches.
- I can also treat your astigmatism at the same time if you wish.
Lens replacement results
Lens replacement with premium lenses reduces your dependency on spectacles and contact lenses. Unlike standard single-vision (monofocal) lens implants, premium multifocal lens implants are specially designed to provide good vision across the spectrum of varying distances. This should enable you to see well in the distance such as for driving, middle/intermediate range such as using your computer/tablet devices, and near for reading.
Will I still need to wear glasses if you recommend a multifocal lens?
The results will vary depending upon your level of vision, eye anatomy and lifestyle. Some patients find it more comfortable to wear reading glasses to read the small print when lighting conditions are dimmer or when driving. Most people, however, can conduct many of their day’s activities, hobbies and interests without depending on glasses and contact lenses, and only occasionally need to wear glasses.