Ultimate Comparison Guide: LASIK vs RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange)

July 31, 2023


Glasses and contacts aren’t your only options when you need vision correction. Refractive surgeries, such as LASIK, PRK, EVO Vision ICL, and refractive lens exchange (RLE), can provide vision correction for those with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

This comparison guide discusses both options in more detail, so you can determine which option may be best for your eyes. An eye care specialist can answer questions about whichever option you choose.

What’s the Difference Between LASIK and Refractive Lens Exchange?

LASIK costLASIK and RLE are procedures made to correct vision, without the help of glasses or temporary contacts.

RLE is a common procedure for those who aren’t good candidates for LASIK. However, you can also have an RLE or an EVO ICL procedure even if you’re a good candidate for LASIK.

The key difference between these procedures is how they’re performed. LASIK is a procedure that uses a laser to reshape an eye’s cornea and removes corneal tissue.

An RLE procedure replaces the patient’s natural lens with an artificial one, replacing the lens with refractive errors.

Explore the Basics of LASIK

At OOMC, we perform the LASIK procedure with an iFS Advanced Bladeless Laser, which allows us to personalize the LASIK treatment to the correct diameter, depth, and shape of the cornea.

Our custom measurements are guided by an iDESIGN® scan, which provides our team with a 3D image of your eye, how it processes light, and the imperfections in your cornea.

Overall, the LASIK procedure only takes about 15 minutes, and you’ll be on your way home the same day. You’ll need someone to drive you home after surgery.

Your provider will keep your current eye doctor updated on your procedure and recovery recommendations. The next day you’ll be able to see your regular optometrist for a follow-up appointment to see how your eyes are healing.

Healing from LASIK is often easy, and you can resume normal activities within a couple of days.

Discover More About Refractive Lens Exchange

Eye consultationRLE was designed for patients with presbyopia and high hyperopia, often called farsightedness, and those over 40.

As people age, their eyesight can deteriorate, and some adults develop presbyopia, which is the loss of the eyes’ ability to focus actively on nearby objects.

RLE removes the lens, removing the refractive error, compared to LASIK, which only compensates for presbyopia. A LASIK procedure focuses on the eye’s surface rather than the lens.

RLE has the additional benefit of eliminating the potential for cataracts in the future. Since cataracts form in your eye’s natural lens, removing them decreases the risk.

On average, RLE is considered a more permanent solution than other refractive surgeries. This procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

During an RLE procedure, a surgeon will dissolve the natural lens in the eye and replace it with an artificial model.

Meet With an Eye Care Specialist To Learn Which Option Is Best for Your Eyes

An eye care provider can help you determine the best refractive surgery option. Those interested in LASIK can receive a free consultation with an eye expert at OOMC.

We’ll evaluate your eyes and determine if LASIK is the right option. We can also help you get the refractive lens exchange procedure that meets your needs.

Contact your local OOMC provider to schedule a consultation today.

Schedule Your Free Consult Today

Here at OOMC, our patient’s well-being is our priority. Our dedicated team of surgeons and staff always makes an effort to create a safe and secure environment where you can easily access care comfortably and confidently.

Contact one of our centers nearest to you for further information.

Corneal Associates of New Jersey

Kremer Eye Center

Ludwick Eye Center

Eye Care Northwest

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