Does RLE really prevent me from getting cataracts?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is gaining popularity as a surgical option for people who are over age 45 and beyond who want to decrease or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts. As we age, we all expect different parts of their body to become slightly less functional with wear and tear over time. People can be in excellent physical condition into their 80s and 90s. It doesn’t require world-record athletic ability to be able to function perfectly in our daily lives and seniors are more active today than ever.

When you are young, the natural lens acts like the zoom function in a camera, allowing you to focus up close, without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. However, the lens inside the human eye is designed to fail over time. It’s the only part of the body I can think of that inexorably gets worse to the point of non-functionality in a shorter timespan than it takes to grow very old.  As you age, the lens progressively becomes dysfunctional resulting in loss of near vision (presbyopia) that requires the use of reading glasses or bifocals. With aging, the lens also progressively becomes hard, yellow and cloudy (cataract). Cataracts block and scatter light reducing visual quality, quantity and color perception. This progressive loss of function of the natural lens inside the eye is referred to as Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome.

Everyone gets cataracts. Fix the Problem Before It Starts.

Your lenses continually age throughout life. This results in the need for reading glasses or bifocals in your 40′s and eventually cataract surgery in your 70s or 80s.  This is the reason that RLE prevents cataracts. Lens changes cause progressive deterioration in vision. More and more patients do not want to tolerate the years of progressive decline in their vision as they develop cataracts; they want it permanently fixed now and not be hindered by cataracts later in life.

With the advancement in technology and the safety of the procedure, patients are now choosing to have their natural lenses replaced at an earlier age. After RLE, cataract surgery will never be needed. The artificial lens will not age which provides visual stability to the lens of the eye. There are several lenses to choose from to best customize to your specific eyes.

One of the only downsides to RLE is missing out on the miraculous feeling of undoing 50 years of lens hardening and darkening in a 10 to 15-minute surgery. The only way to get that feeling, however, is to let the lens get that dysfunctional in the first place. Preventing that loss of function over the years is part of what makes RLE so miraculous, albeit in a more lifelong rather than spontaneous kind of way. It is the miracle of having a lens that doesn’t age, instead of a lens that seems to age quicker than the rest of you.

Also, I don’t know about you, but in the last year I have lost two expensive pairs of glasses, not to mention the countless ‘readers’ I have all over the house and my office. When I think of all the costs associated with glasses and contacts, RLE may be a great value monetarily as well. After all, great vision is priceless at any age!





Refractive Lens Exchange – See Clearly at All Distances and Lose the Glasses

Most people when they’re considering surgical treatment to eliminate their dependence on glasses only consider laser vision correction(LVC), either SMILE, LASIK, or PRK. However, with patients over 45 and sometimes younger, the procedure that provides better visual quality and a more permanent result is not LVC but rather Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE).









Fix the Problem Before It Starts

Your eye’s natural lens has started to become annoying enough to your vision that you now require glasses or bifocals. The idea of waiting until it is bad enough for your vision to be poor even with glasses doesn’t appeal to you. That’s why RLE exists.

The lens inside your eye is destined to become a cataract over time. It gets cloudier each year, noticeably so after age 50, and a cloudy lens is the same thing as a cataract. There is a window of time, however, where the lens is cloudy and dense enough to cause trouble, but not enough to be officially called a cataract.

The symptoms of this stage of dysfunction for your lens are uniform across all people who have:

  • A need for reading glasses or bifocals
  • Difficulty reading in low light compared to bright lights
  • Difficulty driving at night with the ease you once had

RLE is the solution to these annoyances because it doesn’t require waiting until the lens has become so cloudy it impairs you.

RLE is the procedure whereby the natural lens in the eye is exchanged for an intraocular lens (IOL). This is the same operation that is done when a person has a cataract when their natural lens has become cloudy. By the age of 45, the natural lens has lost its ability to accommodate so that reading vision becomes difficult or impossible. Especially if a person is farsighted so that both their reading and distance is impaired, it quite often makes more sense to replace the natural lens with a better one, the IOL.

Tony’s story:

Tony is enjoying an active lifestyle – as if he was 25 years old again!

That wasn’t the case a year ago, when Tony 57, was still a slave to his eyeglasses. He used to have a pair of glasses in almost every room of her house. “I had glasses on my head, around my neck, and of course, prescription sunglasses,” he said. “I even had a bag just for glasses that I used to take with me when I traveled!”

Things had been that way for a long time. It was a frustrating lifestyle, and one that she was eager to change.

Lynda’s interest in vision correction was piqued by the Herzig Eye Institute ads on television. She did a little investigating, and decided to book a consultation to find out what options existed. When told she was a candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange, her answer was an emphatic “Go for it!”

The results have amazed her. “It’s as if someone turned on a light and I can see the way I used to.” And since her eyes’ natural lenses have been replaced, she no longer has to worry about developing cataracts. So impressive were the results that a month after Lynda’s surgery, her sister had the procedure too.

“It’s like I’m 20 years old again!”

Lynda now has 20/20 vision. She’s able to knit, paint, play tennis and golf like she did in her youth – all without the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. “It’s become very real to me how we take our vision for granted.”

Now the only problem is deciding what to do with all her glasses.

Determining which option is best for any given patient requires a comprehensive eye examination and discussion with the surgeon to understand the pros and cons of each procedure. One size doesn’t fit all. It’s important to choose the right


How to Protect Your Eyes from a Pterigión or Carnosidad?

How to protect your eyes from a Pterygium | Pterigión | Carnosidad?

Most people may have not heard of a pterygium, and you may be wondering what the heck a pterygium is? Pronounced (turr-idge-ee-um) it may be easier to remember it by its nickname, Surfer’s Eye.

Tell me more about Pterigión | Carnosidad…

A pterygium is a condition that affects individuals who are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Surfers are at higher risk for developing this condition because they spend long periods of time in the sunlight. They are also at higher risk due to the reflection of the sunlight on the surface of the water. A pterygium can affect people of all ages who have excessive exposure to UV rays or by living in a dry, dusty, windy environment and also you may be prone to pterygium due to your heredity.

Prevention and Treatment

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth on the white part of the eye. It typically grows on the inner cornea of the eye, closer to the nose. It can obstruct your vision and cause it to become blurry. The most common symptoms of a pterygium are blurry vision and a burning or itching sensation in your eyes as well as:

  • Eye redness and inflammation
  • A gritty feeling in the eye
  • A feeling that there is a foreign object in the eye
  • Dryness of the eye due to reduced tear production
  • Blurring of vision if the corneal surface is altered or “warped”
  • Obscuring of vision if growth encroaches across the pupil.

People who live in sunny climates, work outside or are from countries that are close to or live near the equator have a higher risk of developing a pterygium. It is also more common among individuals between the ages of 20-40 and affects men more commonly than women.

As with many medical conditions, the best treatment for a pterygium is prevention (we know, we know… but keep reading!)

With Spring and Summer approaching and as a pterygium may be caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays, the best way to protect yourself is by protecting your eyes from potential sun damage:

  • Use sunglasses that block out ultra-violet light (close-fitting, wrap around styles are best)
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim when outdoors
  • Avoid exposure to environmental irritants, for example: smoke, dust, wind and chemical pollutants
  • Use appropriate eye safety equipment in work environments.

Not only does Pterygium affect your eye health, it can cause you to struggle with your appearance and create self-esteem issues. We can help, if you have a pterygium or may know someone who does, please contact us or request to request to schedule a free consultation.