Will I still need glasses

What is Refractive Lens Exchange?

Refractive lens exchange (RLE), also known as clear lens exchange, is an elective surgical procedure used to correct different vision conditions even if you don’t have cataracts.1

The surgical technique of RLE is a variation of the standard cataract surgery. The main difference is that RLE aims to achieve visual clarity for people with a refractive error condition (disruptions to the eye’s ability to focus light) in the absence of cataracts.

Today, RLE has become a popular choice for the correction of presbyopia with the goal of reducing dependency for prescription glasses.1-3

How do I know if I am an RLE candidate?

An added benefit of undergoing RLE surgery now is that you will avoid cataract surgery in the future. This is because RLE is the same procedure as cataract surgery, where the natural lens is replaced with an IOL.1


  1. Alió JL, et al. Refractive lens exchange in modern practice: when and when not to do it? Eye Vis (Lond). 2014;1:10.
  2. Schallhorn SC, et al. Refractive lens exchange in younger and older presbyopes: comparison of complication rates, 3 months clinical and patient-reported outcomes. Clinical ophthalmology. 2017;11:1569.
  3. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. “Patient Information Refractive Lens Exchange”. Available at: https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Refractive-Lens-Exchange-Patient-Leaflet-April2017.pdf. Published April 2017. Accessed August 11, 2018.