LENS REPLACEMENT SURGERY IN BIRMINGHAM
WILL YOU BENEFIT FROM REFRACTIVE LENS EXCHANGE SURGERY?
If you need glasses for reading then probably yes, if you’re suitable & most are.
WHY DO YOU NOW NEED READING GLASSES OR VARIFOCAL GLASSES?
Your vision is usually stable until your mid to late 40s, when reading & seeing nearby becomes more difficult. Later your distance vision may change too & you may then also need glasses for driving. Or if you’re short-sighted, you start taking your glasses off to read.
Why does this happen? The natural lens in your eye hardens as it ages, becomes less flexible & can’t adjust to give you distance & near vision anymore. The final stage of the ageing is cataract formation in the lens. Your lens goes cloudy to form a cataract & your vision is blurred even with new glasses.
You can have a lens exchange surgery at any stage of the deterioration of your lens. Lens exchange surgery prevents the formation of a cataract later and can also prevent or reduce the impact of other conditions like glaucoma. When you have developed a cataract, lens surgery is essential.
WHAT IS LENS REPLACEMENT SURGERY, REFRACTIVE LENS EXCHANGE SURGERY, A MULTIFOCAL LENS IMPLANT & AN INTRAOCULAR LENS?
The terms can be confusing. Simply put, the ageing, out of focus, natural lens in your eye is removed & replaced with new, clear, high tech lens implant. And the treatment can be called lens replacement or refractive lens exchange (RLE). They are different names for the same treatment.
The new, clear, high-tech lens is called an intraocular (intra = inside, ocular = the eye) implant & there are different types. Multifocal intraocular lenses can correct your distance vision for driving & TV, & also your near vision for reading menus & text on your phone. That sounds good, doesn’t it?!
The Lens Surgery Process & Procedure
Your natural lens can be replaced with an advanced, new intraocular lens (IOL) to rejuvenate your vision so that you can see far away for example for driving, & also see nearby, for example to see your phone without glasses again. So refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery can turn back the years to when you didn’t need glasses. Lens replacement is usually the best vision correction solution for you if you’re aged over 50. If you’re younger then laser eye surgery or phakic lens implants are usually best.
During refractive lens exchange or lens replacement surgery your failing natural lens is gently & painlessly removed through a tiny keyhole incision & a brand new intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted in the same position in our clinic in Birmingham.
We start your journey to refractive lens exchange surgery & vision correction with an advanced analysis of your eyes. This involves detailed eye examinations & measurements of your eyes at your consultation in the eye clinic in Birmingham.
Mark Wevill is an experienced ophthalmologist (an eye doctor & surgeon) & will listen to your needs, review your scan results, assess your eye health, decide if you are suitable for lens replacement surgery & discuss the best intraocular lens options with you. The best results are achieved in healthy eyes.
A specific intraocular lens (IOL) is selected especially for you to suit your eyes & lifestyle. Some people are best suited to having one of the fantastic, new extended depth-of-focus (EDOF), or multifocal lenses which can correct focus for near, intermediate & far vision. Lenses which correct near, intermediate and distance vision are also called trifocal lenses. Multifocal, trifocal & EDOF lenses cause some glare at night, usually for a few months, so some people & occupations are best suited to new enhanced monofocal or simple monofocal intraocular lenses, which give you the best quality of vision.
There are other benefits of refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery too. Refractive lens exchange surgery prevents cataracts from developing & you won’t need cataract surgery in the future. Refractive lens exchange can also reduce eye pressure & prevent certain types of glaucoma.
Your Birmingham eye clinic consultation, thorough eye examination and scans with the eye doctor to assess your suitability for lens replacement surgery usually takes about an hour.
Your lens must be tailored to you and there are hundreds of different intraocular lens implants used in lens replacement treatments. The lenses can be divided broadly into monofocal & multifocal types of lenses.
Monofocal lenses provide the best vision at one near or distant focal point, but not at both distant & near focal points. Sometimes one monofocal lens can be set for distance vision & the other monofocal lens for nearer vision so that overall with both eyes you have some distance & near vision. This is called monovision. Monovision seems strange but your brain sorts it out & it’s a good treatment for many people.
Multifocal lenses provide a range of focal points to enable you to see well nearby & far away with each eye. But there is a compromise. Distance vision isn’t quite as crisp & lights at night have more glare as with monofocal lenses. But these symptoms usually improve over a few weeks.
Multifocal lenses aren’t perfect but they are very good. We can’t guarantee perfect results or give you the perfect vision you may have had when you were young. But the correct lens in a suitable eye gives excellent results & can give you the vision that you want for the way you live. And Dr Mark Wevill has been matching eyes & lenses for many years has transformed thousands of patient’s lives in Birmingham & the Midlands so that they can now drive & read without glasses.
Multifocal lenses include trifocal, bifocal & EDOF (extended depth of focus) lenses. And to confuse matters more, there are hybrid lenses of the two, adjustable lenses, add-on lenses & accommodating lenses! And most lenses come with an astigmatism correcting option & are called toric lenses.
The choice of lenses is bewildering & one type of lens isn’t better than another. So we get to know you, your needs & your eyes. At your Birmingham clinic consultation we will scan & capture images of your eyes then make a lens exchange recommendation that’s tailored to your vision correction specifically.
If you aren’t squeamish, then read on! The good news is that the procedure is quick & you don’t see what happens. You will feel water washing your eye & see lights & shapes. Maria was VERY nervous about having lens exchange treatment. Afterwards she painted this picture of what she saw during lens exchange treatment of her left & right eyes, says it wasn’t painful at all, hasn’t worn glasses since her lens exchange surgery & wishes she had done it years ago.
This keyhole surgery starts with a small, 2.5mm incision at the edge of your cornea (the window on the front of your eye). Your own ageing lens is softened & gently removed with an ultrasound instrument. Your new lens implant is soft & is rolled up, so that it fits through the tiny incision. The intraocular lens is placed into the sac which used to hold your old lens. The sac holds the new implant firmly in position. The keyhole lens replacement incision is so small that sutures are usually unnecessary.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING LENS REPLACEMENT SURGERY
The good news is that refractive lens replacement with a new, clear lens can rejuvenate your vision. Other treatments such as laser eye surgery can temporarily reverse the ageing process, however the only permanent solution is refractive lens exchange surgery.
Book a Consultation
Many of our Laser Eye Surgery Birmingham patients are enjoying the benefits of RLE lens replacement surgery. So why not find out if this lens exchange surgery could get those glasses off your head & stop the edges of your vision swimming with those varifocal lenses?
The cost of treatment varies according to your eyes & your lenses & we’ll find a way to make the price of the treatment affordable to you. Please get in touch to ask any questions or book a consultation.
Pam's Lens Replacement Story
Johnny | Creative Consultant, Ski Guide
Frequently Asked Questions about Lens Replacement Surgery
Lens replacement surgery is ideal for people over the age of 50, when our reading vision deteriorates (presbyopia). We’ll do a comprehensive eye examination with high tech scanners and Mark will talk through a personal, customised treatment plan for you during which he’ll tell you if lens exchange surgery is the best option for you & recommend lenses for you.
If you’re over 50 years old then you’re probably suitable for one of the new high tech lens implants which can give you very good distance & near vision without glasses. However this treatment isn’t suitable for some people. So come and see us in our Birmingham clinic. We’ll talk about your vision needs, examine your eyes and we’ll do high tech scans. Then, with all this information we’ll talk about your best vision correction solution.
You will be able to do brisk walking & some stretching for the first week after lens replacement surgery. After a week you can run and do light gym workouts. We recommend at least a month off water, contact & ball sports. Speak to us about your hobbies & Interests & we’ll make a personal recommendation about how to continue with them after your treatment.
Yes, you can & there are great new lenses available which can correct distance & near vision after LASIK. But please tell us if you’ve had LASIK or another type of eye surgery because modern laser eye surgery techniques are so good that sometimes it’s difficult to see if you have had it & your lens calculations have to be adjusted.
The new intraocular lenses can be removed & replaced with a different lens. But your old lens can’t be put back into your eye after it has been removed.
Yes, you can, but we don’t recommend immediately. At your follow up appointment afterward your lens replacement surgery we’ll let you know if you’re safe to drive.
Please don’t rub or touch your eyes & wash your hands before you use the eyedrops you’re given. Use the eye drops as prescribed & wear your eye shield when sleeping. Your eye shouldn’t be painful & your vision should be reasonably good afterwards & improve quickly. You can watch TV, work at a computer & use your phone in moderation afterwards. You’ll be given detailed written eye care instructions after your lens replacement surgery. If you’re concerned you should call us.
The cost of the surgery depends on the health of your eye & the lens that you need and varies from about £2600 to over £3000. We’ll examine and scan your eye then tell you the price. It’s usually more expensive than laser eye surgery & it’s a better long term solution for vision correction. So come in to our Birmingham clinic for a consultation, examination & high tech scans & we’ll be able to tell you the price. Finance options are available.
Please don’t wear your soft contact lenses for 3 days & your hard contact lenses for 3 weeks before your appointment. Measurements of the surface of your eye can be affected by contact lenses & we want the most accurate tests of your eyes as possible.
Please bring your glasses, a paper record of the prescription from your optometrist, your contact lens prescription or the package, & records of eye conditions or treatments you have had will also be helpful. If you have vision correction treatment before, please bring as much information about your eyes & glasses before your treatment as possible. Please bring a list of any medications & the dosage you are taking.
You will probably be given eye drops which slightly blur your vision during the consultation. So please arrange a lift home to catch public transport. Free, off road parking is available at The Westbourne Centre.
Your vision and eyes will be checked by advanced eye scanners, healthcare assistants and the surgeon. You’ll be given eye drops which slightly blur your vision. Then you’ll discuss whether you’re suitable & your options.