If you need glasses for reading then the answer is simply yes.


It is because the natural lens in your eye ages, hardens, and can’t adjust to give you distance and near vision any more.

As you age the natural lens inside your eyes also ages. Your vision is usually fairly stable and clear until your mid to late 40s, when reading and seeing nearby becomes more difficult. Later your distance vision starts to change and deteriorate. Eventually, you need glasses for driving and distance vision too. Or if you’re short-sighted, you start taking our glasses off to read. Finally your natural lens hardens and goes cloudy to form a cataract. You can have a lens exchange surgery at any stage of the deterioration, but by the time a cataract has formed, lens exchange cataract surgery is essential. And lens exchange surgery prevents the formation of a cataract later and can also prevent or reduce the impact of other conditions like glaucoma.

The Lens Exchange Process and Procedure

Your natural lens can be replaced with a new intraocular lens (IOL) to rejuvenate your vision and get you seeing without glasses again. It’s called lens replacement surgery also known as refractive lens exchange (RLE), lens exchange, intraocular lens or multifocal lens surgery.

Refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery can turn back the years and 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 a better option.

We can restore youthful vision with the treatment called refractive lens exchange or lens replacement surgery. We gently and precisely replace your failing natural lens with a brand new intraocular lens (IOL) and we offer the treatment in Birmingham.

We start your journey to glasses freedom & refractive lens exchange with an advanced analysis of your eyes. This involves detailed eye examinations and measurements of your eyes at your consultation in the Birmingham eye clinic.

The ophthalmologist (eye doctor and surgeon) will review your test results, assess your eye health, decide if you are suitable for lens replacement surgery & discuss the best options with you.

Your eyes are measured with a precision biometer and tomographer. These measurements are used to calculate the correct IOL power for your eyes.

Assessing your suitability for refractive lens exchange surgery is important – the healthier your eyes, the more likely you are to see a good result.

Mark Wevill is an experienced ophthalmologist and will personally examine your eyes, review the scans, talk about your lifestyle and visual needs, and then discuss the best lens replacement surgery option for you.

A specific intraocular lens (IOL) is selected especially for you to suit your eyes and achieve your visual needs. Some people are best suited to having one of the fantastic, new extended depth-of-focus, or multifocal lenses which can correct focus for near, intermediate and far objects and can also correct astigmatism. Lenses which correct near, intermediate and distance vison are also called trifocal lenses. Multifocal, trifocal and extended depth of focus lenses cause some glare at night usually for a few months, so some people are best suited to new enhanced monofocal or simple monofocal intraocular lenses.

Other benefits of lens replacement (RLE) surgery are that it prevents cataracts from developing and you won’t need cataract surgery in the future. And it may reduce eye pressure and 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.

The good news is that refractive lens replacement with a new, clear, clean 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.

Your own ageing lens is softened and gently removed with an ultrasound instrument. This gentle procedure is painless. The lens exchange surgery corrects the focus of your eye and improves light transmission into your eye so that colours are brighter.

The latest multifocal intraocular lenses such as the Finevision, SBL3, Zeiss AT Lisa, AtLara, Tecnis Symfony, Synergy, Alcon Panoptix, toric and other lenses have transformed thousands of Mark Wevill’s patient’s lives in Birmingham and the Midlands and they can now drive and read without glasses.

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 and can give you the vision that you want for the way you like to live. And Mark has been matching the optimal lenses to each of his patient’s eyes for many years.


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 and your lenses and 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.

People's Stories

Pam's Lens Replacement Story

Johnny | Creative Consultant, Ski Guide

“Where are those specs Jonny?” Jonny wrote in his blog, and went on to say “I know, I know, they made me look intelligent and handsome – but for the sports I enjoy they were a bit of a handicap (golf when it rains and skiing, all the time). So, in October 2014 I decided to have lens replacement.” After extensive research and several visits to different surgeons I selected Mr Mark Wevill. I am pleased to say that all went really well. I now read without specs and can also do all my sports now without any extra help. Fantastic. Read Jonny’s blog at: http://blog.pecreative.co.uk/2015/02/where-are-those-specs-jonny.html

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 available 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. 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 what’s 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.

The dry cabin air may dry out your eyes after treatment so you may need extra eye drops to lubricate your eyes in the aircraft. We don’t recommend flying for at least 2 weeks after your treatment because you will be away from our care. But being at altitude is not a problem after lens exchange surgery.

Yes, you can and there are great new lenses available which can correct distance and 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 and your lens calculations have to be adjusted.

The new intraocular lenses can be removed and 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 and 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. So 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 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.

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