What is a Refractive Lens Exchange?

Laser surgery isn’t always the best choice for patients over 48 years of age. One of the reasons for this is the unavoidable focusing changes to the eye’s natural lens (due to aging), negating the benefits of laser. A refractive lens exchange (RLE) or clear lens exchange will often be recommended instead. This procedure is where the natural lens is removed and replaced with a modern artificial lens. The artificial lens is carefully selected by the surgeon to ensure an optimal result. Multifocal lenses or a monovision setup can be used to correct both distance and reading vision.

This is the same technique (accurate biometric pre-measurement scans and using custom selected intraocular lenses) is used for cataracts. Modern cataract surgery was found to be effective, the same technique was adopted for people without cataracts to allow them to enjoy freedom without glasses.

What are my Refractive Lens Exchange Options?

Multifocal and Extended Range of Vision Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Another option to correct presbyopia is the use of multifocal lens implants. Patients may benefit from various contact lens designs that allow the eye to focus effortlessly on their reading material. Presbyopia correcting IOL implants are also able to correct distance vision and astigmatism after cataract surgery. The success rate for Tecnis Symfony Extended Range of Vision intraocular lens is high, with many patients eliminating the constant need for eyeglasses.


Monovision is an option for people over 40 to allow for clear nearsighted vision. It involves focusing one eye perfectly for distance (usually your dominant eye) and leaving the other eye slightly short-sighted (meaning it is focused well for near objects). Our brains are very good at processing this information and can achieve good distance and near vision like this.

If you would like further information we are here to help. Call us on - our friendly team members are ready to discuss your personal needs.

We also offer a laser vision assessment, where one of our expert eye specialists will assess your conditions and determine a solution to suit you. Click Here to fill out our online booking form and we will be in contact.

Take the first step in correcting your vision today!