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Refractive Lens Exchange

Are you looking for LASIK or Laser Vision Correction, but you are over the age of 40?  Have you been told that you are NOT a LASIK candidate due to your age?  Well, we have great news for you –Refractive Lens Exchange, commonly referred to as “RLE”, may be an excellent option for you.

Our surgeons will essentially swap out the lens that you currently have (your natural lens) for a brand-new lens that works with the optics of your eye to assist your eye in your goal of losing glasses or contact lenses.

We have so many patients that come to us after age 39 wanting to get rid of their glasses, only to be told they can’t because if their myopia (nearsightedness) is treated, their presbyopia will soon kick in, and they will need either reading glasses or a subtle offset of the eyes in which one eye is focused closer than the other.

LASIK is NOT the only option available if you want laser vision correction. LASIK is usually a procedure that would take place in patients aged 21-45.

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Can’t See Close? Needing Reading Glasses?

Several patients have chosen RLE to correct presbyopia and have been ecstatic with the results. Presbyopia is the weakening of the elasticity of our natural lenses, decreasing the ability to see up close without the need for correction. Presbyopia may happen in some people earlier than others. We typically notice it at a restaurant when reading our bill. Do your arms not feel long enough? Are you already having to think about reading glasses? Modern, advanced lenses do an amazing job of restoring the visual range that is lost through normal eye aging. LASIK cannot directly treat presbyopia because LASIK reshapes the eye surface or our ‘cornea’ with a laser.  LASIK does not change our aging natural lens, which is the main issue causing presbyopia. If a patient has lost reading vision and really wants the LASIK procedure, we can move forward with an option called monovision – a technique where one eye is corrected by the laser for distance and the other eye is corrected for near vision/reading.

However, with patients like this who are looking to have vision correction after 40, our suggestion would be LENS-based vision correction instead of laser-based vision correction (i.e. LASIK).

What Is Lens-Based Vision Correction?

Lens-Based Vision Correction is a Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE. As we shared in the beginning, RLE is a procedure which corrects the dysfunctional lens issue, and it can correct everything else that LASIK can correct during that procedure as well. If a patient having RLE chooses an advanced technology IOL or artificial lens, their myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (when you lose reading vision from a dysfunctional lens) and astigmatism can be corrected, and the new IOL will last indefinitely.

RLE is an option for many patients for whom LASIK is not the best option because even patients with thin corneas or high prescriptions can have RLE. LASIK has a lot more ‘criteria’ or requirements before a patient can be deemed ‘a candidate’.

Another great perk is that once you have RLE, you will never need cataract surgery, because RLE replaces your natural lens before a cataract forms! Many patients choose to get RLE due to the improved quality of life with no lenses/glasses.

If you are considering vision correction, starting to losing your reading vision, or feeling motivated to eliminate the need for reading and distance glasses or contacts, call us at 713-626-5544 or write us at to meet with one of our highly specialized surgeons today!

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The doctors at Slade and Baker Vision have either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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3900 Essex Lane – Suite 101
Houston, TX 77027

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