Clear Lens Exchange
An excellent alternative to LASIK…for the right person!
What is a Clear Lens Exchange (CLE)?
Clear Lens Exchange (CLE) is also known as Refractive Lens Exchange. CLE is a refractive procedure to replace the eye’s natural lens, the same natural lens that turns into a cataract later on in life. The procedure is performed with laser and ultrasound, similar to the way modern, premium cataract surgery is done.
Why would you do a Clear Lens Exchange (CLE)? Who qualifies for a CLE?
If you are 50-55 years old or above, you may not yet have a cataract yet you may be bothered by the fact that you now have to pick up reading glasses for a lot of your daily tasks. Clear Lens Exchange allows you to have the natural lens replaced with a premium or lifestyle lens that can give you a range of vision similar to what you may have had before the onset of presbyopia. Presbyopia is the eye’s inability to focus on near objects and it occurs to everyone starting by their mid-40’s.
What are the benefits of a Refractive Lens Exchange (CLE)?
Well, for one, you won’t need cataract surgery in that eye when you are older. Even if you get LASIK now, you will still need cataract surgery later on in life. Second, as compared to monovision LASIK, where one eye is optimized for distance and the other eye is optimized for near, in CLE, each eye is optimized for distance and near vision. Not everyone tolerates monovision, and it must be tested in contact lenses before LASIK surgery is done for this. On the other hand, regaining that range with CLE in each eye alleviates the need to determine if monovision is something your brain will accept because both eyes would be seeing distance and some level of near. Third, thin corneas which are a limitation for LASIK, are not a limitation for Refractive Lens Exchange (CLE).
What are the downsides to CLE?
CLE is an intraocular procedure, compared to LASIK, which is a procedure that is done on the surface of the eye. CLE is far more expensive than LASIK for the very simple reason that an extensive team including an anesthesiologist, nursing staff, and the use of a surgery center are necessary (just like cataract surgery). Only one eye can be done at a time with CLE as compared to LASIK, where usually both eyes are done. Finally, there can be some risk related to the type of intraocular lens that is used to get you range in vision that can include glare and/or haloes.
What should you look for in a surgeon that performs CLE?
Simple…he/she just needs to be the best refractive cataract surgeon you can find, not just a cataract surgeon. Dr. Shah is one of the busiest and the best cataract surgeons in orange county.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with us to determine if you are a good candidate for Clear Lens Exchange / Refractive Lens Exchange, please contact us at 714-965-9696.