Refractive Lens Exchange

Refractive Lens Exchange

Laser vision correction is not always the best treatment option for patients who are severely farsighted (meaning they have trouble seeing clearly up-close). In a similar circumstance, some people in their 40s and 50s come into our office complaining that their near vision is getting worse and they are worried that they are becoming farsighted. In reality, most of these latter patients are experiencing the signs of presbyopia.

These are two different vision conditions that can both be corrected by the same procedure: refractive lens exchange (RLE). This process involves removing the natural eye lens and replacing it with an artificial Intraocular Lens (IOL) that is designed specifically to help you achieve the clear vision you want. After a comprehensive evaluation, our doctors can recommend the right type of IOL to meet your vision requirements and match your lifestyle (monofocal, multifocal and toric).

Steps of Refractive Lens Exchange

RLE is very similar to cataract surgery – but you do not have to have cataracts to experience the benefits. In fact, you may even be spared the experience of developing cataracts in the future!

This is what to expect during your RLE procedure:

  • Anesthetic eye drops are administered to numb your eye (only one eye is treated at a time).
  • Your doctor makes a small incision on the cornea to gently break up and remove the natural lens.
  • A pre-determined IOL is inserted into your eye.

The procedure typically takes about 15 minutes and the incisions heal naturally without any stitches. Plan to give yourself a week to recover from RLE. Your final vision results may take a bit longer to achieve as your vision stabilizes. Your new lens will not be noticeable to other people and you won’t even know it is there – you’ll just be reminded of how great life can be without lenses.

Why Choose Us for RLE in Northern Colorado?

The team at the Eye Center of Northern Colorado has performed thousands of RLE procedures, helping thousands of people see more clearly. Our northern Colorado RLE doctors are board-certified and fellowship-trained, so you can rest assured that you will be placing your eye health in good hands. We take time to fully research new technologies and implement the very best options for our patients. In fact, we are the only vision correction provider in northern Colorado to offer multiple vision correction platforms on-site. This allows us to select the right technology to correct your vision imperfections with greater accuracy and safety than ever before.

How Life Can Change After RLE

RLE has restored clearer, crisper, youthful vision to many of our patients. For those leading active lives who desire to have a reduced dependence on glasses, we offer a variety of Lifestyle Lenses that can be life-changing. In fact, some patients don’t need glasses at all after surgery.

Call us today to schedule a free RLE Consultation to see if you are a candidate.

RLE Risks
RLE complications are similar to those of cataract surgery. While this is generally a safe procedure, RLE complications can include retinal detachment, increased eye pressure, glare, halos or droopy eyelids. It is important that you only undergo RLE if you are completely qualified for the surgery. This is why it is important to determine if you are an RLE candidate and to find a trusted and experienced RLE surgeon to provide you with the best eye care possible.

Difference Between Farsightedness & Poor Reading Vision 

  • True farsightedness (hyperopia) is the result of the eye being shorter or having a flatter cornea so light entering the eye focuses behind the retina. This causes blurry vision for reading and performing other up-close tasks.
  • Presbyopia is the term for how the eye lenses begin to age after age 40. With each passing year, the eye lenses become a little less flexible and a little more rigid. This makes it more difficult for the lenses to flex enough to focus on things like text messages, restaurant menus, medicine bottles and more – especially in low light.

Traditional prescription glasses and contact lenses can help farsightedness; reading glasses and bifocals can improve presbyopia. However, the daily hassles of maintaining and keeping track of lenses cause many people to look for treatment options.

To find out if refractive lens exchange is right for you, contact us today to schedule a free RLE Consultation.

Our Locations


Fort Collins at Prospect

1725 E. Prospect Rd.
Fort Collins, CO 80525

Fort Collins at Precision Center

3151 Precision Dr.
Fort Collins, CO 80528

Loveland at Skyline

2555 E. 13th St. Suite 225
Loveland, CO 80537

Loveland at Centerra

6125 Sky Pond Dr.
Loveland, CO 80538

Greeley at Fox Run

1701 61st Ave
Greeley, CO 80634

Send Us a Message