If you’re age forty or older, you are probably finding it increasingly difficult to put things into focus, no matter what distance the object is from your eyes. It may be a little harder to clearly see the face of your wristwatch, make out road signs on the highway before you pass your exit, or even read the fine print on your television without glasses.
This condition is known as presbyopia, and it continues to progress as we age.
In recent years, laser vision correction has made it possible for millions of individuals who are nearsighted and farsighted to eliminate, or greatly reduce, their need for glasses and contacts. Although laser vision correction can treat these conditions, it cannot correct presbyopia and restore the eye’s full range of vision.
However, Clear Lens Exchange can improve your vision and provide clearer focus at all distances – near, far, and in between.
Clear Lens Exchange is a term used to describe presbyopic lens extraction with insertion of a multifocal intraocular lens. The surgical techniques employed in this procedure have proven successful over many years of use.
Your cornea (the outside part of the eye) and the eye’s natural lens (inside your eye) work together to focus light that comes into your eye. The lens, which is flexible when you are younger, becomes increasingly inflexible as you mature, often after you have passed the age of forty. Consequently, you have a difficult time focusing on objects. This condition is known as presbyopia.
The onset of presbyopia has traditionally meant that you are relegated to using glasses for clear vision. Even those individuals who have received laser vision correction will eventually become presbyopic and need glasses or contacts to restore their full range of sight.
Clear Lens Exchange offers a solution. Unlike procedures that focus on changing the shape of the cornea, Clear Lens Exchange works on the lens inside the eye. Consequently, your vision after the procedure will be stable and unlikely to change over time. In addition, cataract surgery will not be necessary later in life. The multifocal lens that is used to replace your eye’s natural lens will provide you with clearer vision at all distances, giving you little or no dependence on traditional or progressive bifocal glasses.
The ideal candidate for Clear Lens Exchange surgery is a person over the age of 40 who is presbyopic and/or farsighted.
Correct focusing of the eye is determined by the curvature of the cornea (outer window of the eye) along with the focusing power of the eye’s natural lens (inside the eye). Most other vision correction procedures attempt to change the focusing power of the cornea. Clear Lens Exchange, on the other hand, corrects nearsightedness and farsightedness by replacing the eye’s natural lens with a multifocal intraocular lens.
Surgeons remove the eye’s natural lens through a micro-incision and replace it with a small plastic lens. The lens is then unfolded and placed into permanent position. Patients go home soon after the procedure to relax for the rest of the day. Everyone heals somewhat differently, but many patients report improvement in their vision almost immediately and most return to their normal activities within a day or two. Clear Lens Exchange is usually performed on the second eye a week to two after the first procedure.
Although LASIK surgery may reduce the need for glasses or contacts, it cannot correct presbyopia and restore the eye’s full range of motion. An additional advantage to Clear Lens Exchange surgery is that once you have had the procedure, you will not require cataract surgery later in life.
However, because Clear Lens Exchange involves surgery inside the eye, it is subject to a number of possible complications. You will be given additional information covering these risks and potential complications that will help you make an informed decision. The goal of Clear Lens Exchange is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses, though your doctor cannot guarantee these results. Only you can decide if the benefits of having this or any surgical procedure are worth the risks.