Why should I consider refractive lens exchange?

The reason why you should consider refractive lens exchange surgery is because over the age of 55, fundamentally the problem in your eye is that the lens is changing.

So the lens of the eye of a child, of a baby, is very flexible as soft as egg white. But in a 90-year-old it’s quite hard. It almost has the consistency of a smarty. And it’s that hardening of the lens and that thickening of the lens throughout life that leads to the requirement of firstly reading glasses, then maybe computer glasses and then glasses in the distance.

If you have a significant prescription, particularly a longsighted prescription for distance, intermediate and reading, then refractive lens surgery may be a better option for you than laser eye surgery. And the reason is that with refractive lens surgery you are dealing with the part of the eye, that is causing the problem and you are arresting the progression of that ageing process.

In some patients, if you have laser eye surgery, in the presence of this hardening of the lens, the effect will only be temporary. And also, refractive eye surgery is better in correcting both, distance and reading vision because you can use a varifocal or bifocal lens to correct both distances, often much more effectively than laser eye surgery can do.

So really, laser eye surgery, to generalise, is a very good procedure for the younger age group. But over the age of 55, refractive lens surgery becomes more important.

More about Robert Morris

Rob Morris is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at The Grange Eye Consultants. His special expertise is in cataract and refractive surgery, including Refractive Lens Exchange, and adult squint. He has over 30 years experience in treating people with eye problems. Rob Morris founded Grange Eye Consultants to manage the increasing demand for more complex refractive surgery. He leads clinical trials investigating novel eye treatments. He is currently Medical Director at Optegra Eye Hospitals.